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General News | Jan 7, 2005

The Mace, the symbol of Parliament's authority

GNA
The Mace, the symbol of Parliament's authority

Accra, Jan. 7, GNA - The Mace, the symbol of authority of Parliament, is entrusted to the Speaker.

The daily Speaker's procession into the Chamber is led by the Marshal with the Mace signifying the ceremonial opening of each Sitting day in the House.

The Marshal carries the Mace on his right shoulder and then places it in a special holder in front of the Clerk's Table where it remains throughout the Sitting as a symbol of the authority of Parliament.

When the Speaker is in the Chair, the Mace stands upright or perpendicular indicating the formal proceedings in the House. However, during the Consideration Stage of a Bill, the Mace is tilted towards the Chair indicating the informal nature of the proceedings. At this stage, the rules of debate are relaxed and Members can speak more than once to any question from the Chair. At the State Opening of Parliament, the President and Parliament come together to fulfil a constitutional function.

On that occasion, during the presence of the President in the House the State Sword, usually regarded as the symbol of authority of the President, takes the place of the Mace.

The present Mace of Parliament was made when Ghana became a Republic in 1960. The upright position of the Mace in the Chamber may be likened to a linguist's staff of office; it also gives prominence to the head of the Mace, which is the eagle, the country's heraldic bird. The shaft of the Mace has six traditional stools symbolizing the common sharing of responsibility, the presence of God in the society, lasting personality, prosperity, and presence and effect of feminine power in the society and pride.

The design of the Ghana Mace is made up of various Ghana traditional symbols.

The Adinkra symbols embossed between the stools denote the Omnipotence of God, critical examination, strength, immortality, and justice.

THE FLYING EAGLE - symbolising the State of Ghana.

"KONTONKUROWI" - symbol of the common sharing of responsibility.

"NYAMEDUA" - a stool symbol of the presence of God in society.

"HWEMDUA" - symbol of critical examination.

"GYE-NYAME" - (except God), a symbol of the omnipotence of God.

"KUDU-PONO" - a symbol of lasting personality.

"MBAADWA" - a symbol of the presence and effect of feminine power in society.

"DWANIMMEN" - a symbol of manly strength.

"HYE-WO-NHYE - (burnt but unburnt), symbol of imperishability.

"BI-NKA-BI" - (no one bites another), symbol of justice.

"KUNTUN-KANTAN" - (bent only to straighten), symbol of the pride of State.

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