Though it’s America’s birthplace, Philadelphia flies the flags of many nations — 109 of them. There could be more, considering the world is home to 196 — including the Republic of South Sudan, which joined the list Saturday.
As independence was formally declared from Sudan yesterday — resulting from a 2005 peace deal — people sang, danced and raised flags in the newly born East African country. The U.N. Security Council will meet Wednesday to discuss possible membership for a country with an established capital (Juba), motto (“Justice, Liberty, Prosperity”) and anthem (“South Sudan Oyee!”). But will its official black, red, green, blue and yellow flag fly above the Parkway?
“Philadelphia congratulates South Sudan as a new country, but we also have a procedure in place regulating the flags flying there,” Mayor Michael Nutter said yesterday. “If we get a request, we will certainly review and consider it.”
When 19 countries joined those with flags flown along the Parkway last November — including Bulgaria, Cambodia, El Salvador, Nepal and Qatar — it marked the culmination of years of effort. The city considered census data to determine growing populations and installed new flagpoles along Logan Circle.
Should the new South Sudan seek to join the flag display, it’d require some tinkering. There’s currently no empty pole between South Korea and Spain.