A small piece of fabric, a hummingbird and a big hustle and bustle. Martinique got a little more embroiled in the controversy over naming a flag to represent the island this Tuesday after the winner of the competition organized by the authorities surprisingly gave up.
The Territorial Community of Martinique (CTM) restarted this delicate process in late 2022 to provide the Caribbean island with an official emblem to represent it in sporting, cultural and international collaborative events. The CMT had decided to conduct a consultation open to residents of the department, but which had been marred by several technical incidents.
The organizer had thus denounced “cyber attacks” before acknowledging “certain omissions within the voting platform”.
A wave of “cyberbullying”
At the end of this vote, the proposal of a young entrepreneur, Anaïs Delwaulle, had finally won the majority of the 26,633 online votes (72%) against the independence sign. This pavilion, without official existence and sometimes considered sulphurous, takes up the three colors of the independence movement’s flag, namely red, green and black.
His Project No. 242, showing a hummingbird on the red-green-black flag but resumed at an angle, caused a lively controversy, his critics in particular accusing him of having plagiarized an existing drawing on an image bank.
“I withdraw my proposal and refrain from following up the results of this consultation,” Anaïs Delwaulle said in a press release on Monday, claiming to have been the victim of a wave of “cyber harassment”.
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A new ranking awaits
Following this withdrawal, the community supported the winner and announced that a new leaderboard would be created to allow a winner to emerge. “With this withdrawal, a new classification is introduced, with the No. 891 flag taking the place of the first. This classification will be transmitted to the Martinique Assembly, which will freely decide the final choice of the Martinique anthem and flag. The elected representatives of the Martinique Assembly will make their final decision on February 2nd and 3rd, 2023,” Serge Letchimy, President of the Executive Council of the CTM, told our colleagues from Martinique La 1ère.
This is the second time the Martinican community has initiated a process to choose a flag and anthem. A green-blue and white “Ipséité” emblem designated in 2019 under the mandate of Alfred Marie-Jeanne had been challenged by the Fort-de-France Administrative Court in November 2021, opening the door to the current consultation.