Designer seeks payment for Uganda's national flag, 48 years on
A retired teacher in Uganda has gone to court to stop the country flying the national flag until he's paid royalties for designing the banner at independence, 48 years ago. The case comes just weeks after an 80-year-old music professor successfully sued the government for payment for composing the country's national anthem.
After a three-year legal battle, that case was settled in a 15,000-euro payout to composer George Kakoma.
Now Semei Matia Nyai, also aged 80, is demanding 500,000 euros, housing and a car for his role in creating Uganda's national flag.
He says he never received any recognition for coming up with the black, yellow and red design, which he proposed in 1961 following a call for submissions by the Ugandan Interior Ministry.
The flag officially replaced the British Union Jack as Uganda's new national banner on the day of the country's independence from Britain, 9 October 1962.
"The flag should not be flown until they pay me," Nyai says.
He has lodged a complaint with his district court seeking to prevent its use until he has received the compensation he wants.
"I'm serious. The state should respond to me quickly, now."
It remains to be seen whether Nyai's appeal will be taken seriously ahead of Uganda's independence day celebrations next week, when the national flag traditionally takes pride of place throughout the country's streets.