"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Old, and Biblical, and on the blog at 102

About the time I though the reach of this blog was over, a new reader from the 13th African nation and 102nd country to have readers hit on this blog.
Ethiopia, one of mankind's oldest regions, if not the oldest for homo sapiens, should also be familiar to Jews and Christians alike, referred to in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.  Heard of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon? She was Ethiopian. Read of Phillip preaching to the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts? Not only is the country old, it has a long history of Judaism and Christianity. It's been a  monarchy most of its life since well before Christ.. And until the last 20 years, the symbol of the Lion of Judah was in the middle of the flag, the emperors claiming direct lineages from Solomon and Sheba.
It's also a country that has been plagued by politics, wars, famines  and droughts throughout its history. No wonder prehistoric man decided to migrate away.Now home to 84 million people, two thirds are Christian and other religions, and one third Muslim. It was a major power in the third century and the first major empire to adapt Christianity as the official religion.
When Europe set about pillaging Africa, only it and Liberian maintained independence. Invaded by Mussolini's Italians in 1936, it was eventually freed by the British in about 1943. When the colonization of Africa began ending in the 1960s, many new states used the Ethiopian flag colors in their flags. After legendary Emperor Haile Sallasie was deposed, the Soviets and Marxists took over until the collapse of the USSR. A new constitution and flag were adopted in the 1990s, featured a multiparty system. Continued wars, droughts and famines continue to plague the country and its politics.
Today's flag colors date to 1889, and were adopted after defeat of Marxists in 1991. The blue represents peace, the star represents diversity and unity, and the sun's rays symbolise prosperity. The green recalls the land, yellow stands for peace and hope, and red is symbolic of strength.
I don't know who my reader from Ethiopia is, but welcome, and thank you. Don't suppose that this is a backward country however. When I was privileged to travel to Mali in 2007, one of the few airlines serving Bamako, other than Air France, was Ethiopian Air. We were fortunate to have their flight attendants staying in our hotel. I quickly decided I liked these friendly people, and talked with them and got authgraphs. Can you see why?
Ethiopian Air flight attendants




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