"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.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The blog at 109... Africa again

There was a new reader of the blog today, and that person lives in Togo, marking the 109th country in the world to have clicked on this site. Whoever it is, I'd like to think they checked here because of America's Independence. Togo has a history of promised democracy overruled by the military and unrest. At any rate, it becomes the 16th African country to have readers of this blog.
It's a small country, 317 miles long and only 87 wide at the most, about the size of West Virginia. Largely tribal, it became part of the "Slave Coast" from the 1500s to the 1700s as Europeans raped the country. Germany claimed it as a protectorate in the late 1800s, and after WWI, France took over. It gained independence in 1960. The country has about 6.9 million people, and the official language is French, but many tribal languages are spoken as well, with about 40 ethnic groups. Indigenous beliefs are the main religions, with both Christian and Muslim minorities.
The flag was designed in 1960 by renowned artist Paul Ahyi, and uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia, but with the star on red, resembles the flag of Liberia which echoes the flag of the U.S.A.
I don't know who this reader is, but wish I knew. There are so many stories. And I thought you'd like to see a map of how Africa was "colonized" by the Europeans befoe most gained Independence in the 1960s.

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