Bangladesh rewrites record books with largest human flag
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00
An emotional display of patriotism that over 27,000 people proved their collective strength
What could be the greatest strength of a country not larger than a tiny dot on the globe? Its people obviously. It was in an emotional display of patriotism that over 27,000 people proved their collective strength yesterday as Bangladesh set the world record for the largest human-flag ever made. And it could not be done at a more opportune moment or against a more desired opponent.
Yesterday, Victory Day created an ideal occasion to celebrate that justice. The fact that the previous human flag record was held by none other than Pakistan, having recreated its flag using 24,000 people, was the icing on the cake. Pakistan broke the earlier record of 21,726 people set by Hong Kong about five years ago.
The National Parade Ground, where history was rewritten yesterday, was buzzing with enthusiasm from the early morning, with as many as 27,117 participants students, members of the Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force and Ansar Bahini ready to be a part of the big moment. They stood shoulder to shoulder, holding placards of a rectangular shape overhead, forming an exact replica of the national flag. As they raised their hands high into the air, the whole ground became a triumph of green and red. They stood there for six minutes and 16 seconds in that order.
It was a moment of pride and satisfaction for both the participants and millions of viewers watching the event on the ground or live on television. Saiful Islam Rabiul, a student volunteer from the Agargaon-Taltola Government Colony High School, who led the front section made up of his schoolmates, described what it was like to be a constituent part of the flag.
“I woke up at seven in the morning and came here. It felt really wonderful to be here,” said Rabiul, now in his sixth grade. However, it was not an easy task for the organisers to manage such a large group of people, formed mostly by young girls and boys from different schools and madrasas.
The hardest part was making sure they synced up with their older, and more organised, counterparts from the armed forces. There were several thousand viewers, most of them relatives of the participants, present on the ground who watched in awe as the flag slowly took shape.
They cheered when it was finally done, after over three hours of effort. Their inspiration and elation, as well as that of the organisers, was clearly rooted in the fact that it was Pakistan which had lost its claim to the Guinness World Record for the largest human flag.
“We defeated Pakistan on this day in 1971 and we did the same thing today,” said Faridur Reza Sagar, Managing Director of Channel i, one of the media partners for the event organised by private mobile phone operator Robi with the help of the Bangladesh Armed Forces Division. The Dhaka Tribune, Bangladesh Pratidin, Kaler Kontho, and Radio Foorti were the other media partners. Noted actor Afzal Hossain, who moderated the event, said documents relating to the record would be sent to the Guinness authorities for their official recognition.