"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Monday, April 8, 2013

New readers, closing on 100 countries

In the past week, the blog has attracted readers from two more countries, bringing the total to 98, not counting the USA. These come from countries with long histories that have been occupied, and their borders changed during history, before finally becoming independent. We in America with a short history, forget how much geography and political rule have changed around the world as various strong powers have exerted their rule.
These newcomers are from Lithuania and Uganda. That means the blog has readers from all the Baltic states, including Latvia and  Estonia. Uganda becomes the eleventh African country on the roll.
Lithuania formed a commonwealth with Poland to the south for about 200 years, but fell to Russia and others in the 1700s. It declared independence after WWI, but was occupied by the Soviet Union, and then  and Germany throughout WWII, when USSR took over. But before the breakup of the USSR, it was the first Socialist Republic to declare independence. A salute!
The flag was used between the wars, and then adopted in 1989, two years before the USSR fell. The history of the colors vary, but are prevalent in folk art.
Uganda's flag dates from 1962, the year it gained independences from the UK. The colors represent the African people, the son, and the blood of African brotherhood. The gray crowned crane, a national symbol, and the military badge of Ugandan soldiers during British rule.
The area was invaded by missionaries in the late 1800s, followed by the British which ruled under the East Africa Company. It imported 30,000+ workers to build the Uganda railroad, but many Indians stayed after completion. The final area took shape in 1914.
It's a troubled land. In the early 1900s, sleeping sickness killed more than a quarter-million---two thirds of the population. Since independence, it's had a history of military coups, the worse from Idi Amin in the 1970s, who killed more than 300,000 and drove out the remaining Indians. The current leader has been in power since the 1990s.  But it is a beautiful land, with wonderful people. Salute!

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