• Short Summary

    THE UNION JACK, RAISED OVER MALTA MORE THAN 160 YEARS AGO, WAS LOWERED FOR THE LAST TIME AT MIDNIGHT YESTERDAY (SUNDAY) WHEN THE ISLAND BECAME A FULLY INDEPENDENT MEMBER OF THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS.

  • Description

    THE UNION JACK, RAISED OVER MALTA MORE THAN 160 YEARS AGO, WAS LOWERED FOR THE LAST TIME AT MIDNIGHT YESTERDAY (SUNDAY) WHEN THE ISLAND BECAME A FULLY INDEPENDENT MEMBER OF THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS.

    VALLETTA STADIUM, WHERE 8O THOUSAND PEOPLE HAD GATHERED FOR THE FINALE TO THE INDEPENDENCE CEREMONIES, WAS PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS AS THE FINAL BARS OF "AULD LANG SYNE" PLAYED BY MASSED MILITARY BANDS FADED AWAY AND THE NEW RED AND WHITE FLAG OF MALTA, WITH THE GEORGE CROSS INSET, WAS RAISED TO THE MASTHEAD.

    PRINCE PHILIP, WHO REPRESENTED THE QUEEN AT THE CELEBRATIONS, ATTENDED THE FESTIVITIES AT THE STADIUM. EARLIER, HE WENT TO A STATE BANQUET AT WHICH HE REFERRED TO WARTIME MALTA AS "A SYMBOL OF FORTITUDE AND RESISTANCE".

    ABOUT 90 MINUTES BEFORE THE MALTESE FLAG WAS RAISED, A SERIES OF FIGHTS BROKE OUT IN THE STADIUM, BUT STRONG CONTINGENTS OF POLICE QUICKLY BROKE UP THE SCUFFLES AND MADE SEVERAL ARRESTS.

    THROUGHOUT THE DAY, DEMONSTRATIONS AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE HAD MARRED THE CELEBRATION. THE WORST INCIDENT OCCURRED DURING THE INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE THROUGH VALLETTA, WHEN SUPPORTERS OF THE LABOUR PARTY LED BY MR. DOM MINTOFF, VOICED THEIR DISAPPROVAL OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION.

    WAVING PLACARDS CALLING FOR "FULL INDEPENDENCE" AND A "NEW CONSTITUTION" THEY JEERED AS THE PROCESSION OF FLOATS PASSED BY. AS THE DEMONSTRATION GAINED MOMENTUM, THE CROWD SURGED THROUGH POLICE LINES AND BLOCKED THE STREET WHILE POLICE ATTEMPTED TO PUSH THEM BACK.

    FIGHTS BROKE OUT AND SEVERAL PEOPLE, INCLUDING A NUMBER OF WOMEN, WERE TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT. EVENTUALLY, MOUNTED POLICE WERE CALLED IN TO BREAK UP THE DEMONSTRATION; AND THE CROWD DID BREAK UP AS THE POLICE FREELY WIELDED RIDING CROPS.

    AMONG THE ARRESTS MADE DURING THE DAY INCLUDED THAT OF A MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO PLANT A HAND GRENADE IN THE DENSELY PACKED SQUARED OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT'S RESIDENCE. IT WAS FROM HERE THAT PRINCE PHILIP LATER APPEARED ON A BALCONY BEFORE THE CROWD.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA224XL71WBR3X5FQ5HENU3VYPF
    Media URN:
    VLVA224XL71WBR3X5FQ5HENU3VYPF
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/09/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:52:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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