Photo of the Week
November 3,  2002

I will change my normal theme for this week's "Photo of the Week" to a Image of the week.  Today, November 3 is Panama's Independence Day, celebrating 99 years of independence from Columbia.  Of course, as you all know, the United States was instrumental in the founding of Panama by Teddy Roosevelt showing his strong arm tactics to take the isthmus and build the canal.

As a little history lesson, this week's image is that of the coat of arms of Panama.

"The coat of arms approved in 1904, and that since then it was used officially, has the following description:

"It rests on a green field, symbol of the vegetation; it is of pointed form and it is intervened as far as the division. The center shows the Isthmus with its seas and sky, in which the moon begins to rise above the waves and the sun begins to hide behind the mountain, marking thereby the solemn hour of the declaration of our independence. The head is divided in two quarters: in the one of the right hand, in the silver field, a sword and a gun are hung meant as abandonment for always to the civil wars, causes of our ruin; in the one of the left-hand side, and on field of gules, a crossed shovel and a grub hoe are shown shining, to symbolize the work "

"The end of the coat of arms also is divided in two quarters: the one of the right-hand side, in blue field, shows a cornucopia, emblem of the wealth; and the one of the left-hand side, in field of silver, the winged wheel, symbol of the progress. Behind the shield and covering it with his opened wings, is the eagle, emblem of the sovereignty, the head turned towards the left, and takes in the tip a silver tape, which hangs from right to left. On the tape the following motto is printed "Pro Mundi Beneficio " "On the eagle, in arc form, seven gold stars go in representation of the provinces in which the Republic is divided. Like decorative accessories, to each side of the coat of arms two gathered national flags go on the other hand below" For thirty-seven years the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Panama was not changed until the Constitution of 1941 was promulgated. The National Assembly dictated in March of this year Law 28 on the Coat of Arms, in which the following reforms were introduced: the saber and the gun are meant as attitude of alert in defense of our sovereignty, in the place of "abandonment to mean good bye to the civil wars ".   311 projects appeared to change the motto and the Jury named to make the selection decided for: "Solo Dios sobre Nosotros" (Only God Above Us). Nevertheless, the National Assembly when approving the Law 28 already referred to, rejected it and preferred the one of "Justice, Honor and Freedom ".  Five years later, in 1946, Panama returned to the old symbol with the well-known motto of "Pro Mundi Beneficio

Viva Panama 

Happy Independence Day Panama!!

Just to add to the excitement, the Panama Canal Society 2003 Reunion is themed "Celebrating Panama's Centennial".  A landmark show is planned at the 2003 Reunion Luncheon called "100 Years of Songs" that we all loved, sang and danced to.  This production is by Bruce Quinn and company...

Members of the Panama Canal Society can sign up with the forms in your December Canal Directory...

This show will be the best ever!!

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