By Zaya Williams
Hilson Joseph, more commonly known as the ‘Flag Man’ of Antigua, has been bestowed with a Governor General’s Award in a tribute to dedication and patriotism. This long-awaited recognition culminates years of tireless commitment to national pride.
The campaign to honor Flag Man gained momentum in 2021 when Antigua’s residents rallied to acknowledge his remarkable contributions. The call for recognition arose during the country’s 40th Independence ceremonial parade, where Flag Man, has become an iconic figure.
The sentiment quickly spread as one individual took to Facebook, suggesting that authorities should consider honoring the ‘Flag Man’ with a well-deserved award.
The power of social media was on full display as this heartfelt post resonated with citizens nationwide. Within three days, the post attracted over 50 comments and garnered over 100 shares, a clear indication of the widespread support for recognizing Flag Man’s selfless effort. The overwhelming response served as a testament to his impact on the hearts of the people of Antigua.
His appearances at numerous local events, always proudly carrying a large Antiguan flag and adorned in unique patriotic attire, symbolize unwavering dedication to the nation. With every wave of the flag, Flag Man manages to evoke a sense of national pride that resonates with all who have the privilege of witnessing his spirited displays.
The pinnacle of Flag Man’s dedication came in 2014 when he had the honor of participating in the prestigious Queen’s Baton Relay, a moment that garnered international attention and even caught the eye of the BBC.
Fast forward to 2023, and the culmination of years of dedication has led to Flag Man’s momentous achievement. The bronze Governor General’s Award was presented to him by the Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, in a ceremony held at the Government House on Thursday.
His recognition alongside other honorees, including Head of the Criminal Investigations Department Superintendent Lisborn Michael who received the Silver Award for Faithful Service in National Security, highlights the diverse ways in which individuals can contribute to the betterment of their country.