PN chatter on Facebook has critics querying ‘maduma’ emblem whereabouts

Nationalist Party supporters on Facebook complain at the absence of the PN emblem on backdrops, querying whether the ‘maduma’ emblem has fallen out of favour with the party leadership

PN leader Bernard Grech addresses a meeting with the new party slogan, A New Chapter
PN leader Bernard Grech addresses a meeting with the new party slogan, A New Chapter

Nationalist Party supporters on Facebook have complained at the absence of the PN emblem on recent official adverts, signs, backdrops and other designs, querying whether the ‘maduma’ emblem has fallen out of favour with the party leadership.

While a spokesperson for PN leader Bernard Grech insisted the party had no plans to do away with the emblem, die-hard supporters in Facebook groups denounced the absence of the emblem on online posts, print adverts or even on backdrop images used when Bernard Grech is interviewed.

Even individual panels posted online for each MP following a reshuffle earlier this week did not include the party emblem.

“Any rumours that the PN emblem has been done away with or that the leader does not want to use the emblem are unfounded,” Grech’s spokesman said.

The party has been pushing a new slogan ‘Paġna ġdida għal pajjiżna’ (A new chapter for our country), with a minimalist logo illustrating a page being turned and ‘Partit Nazzjonalista’ in small print. While the red and white Maltese flag colours feature in some fashion, the PN emblem has been absent, Facebook critics said.

“A disillusionary (sic) logo that undoes all the good the PN did and stood for under each past leader,” one such Facebook commenter said of Paġna Gdida logo. “Is Bernard Grech ashamed to say he is Nationalist or to show the emblem?” asked another. “Utterly shameful,” wrote yet another PN supporter. “An official activity where the leader is present, and the emblem does not exist. Maybe we will start seeing that of Repubblika?”

Certainly, newly-elected Bernard Grech is not without his critics and a reshuffle earlier this week revealed a surprising refusal by stalwarts who backed him to accept redefined portfolios.

“All you true Nationalists look out, because Bernard Grech removed the emblem to make way for Daphne supporters and for Manuel Delia’s Repubblika,” claimed one Facebook commenter not enamoured by the anti-Delia

. “This is the new page he has been harping about,” another said. “Now all he has left to do is to remove our glorious anthem too, before going on to erase our history. Let’s stand up to him now before it’s too late.”

The PN has previously experimented with a modern, stylised version of its traditional emblem, when in March 2019 the party used a version employed by youth section MZPN. Then too,

party members had protested and the party had quickly reverted to the traditional emblem.

Former party leader Adrian Delia did not shy away from offering his view of the temporary absence of the party’s “powerful” emblem. “It points to a rich and glorious history, it is a reminder of good and bad times which have changed and defined our country,” he said of the emblem designed in 1927.

Delia said the ‘maduma’ was a symbol that united all Nationalists. “It never brought us any shame,” he said. “Whoever throws it away would be denying history and the party.”

The Labour Party changed its own long-time emblem early into Joseph Muscat’s leadership, in a design competition that was one by publicity company ANG, which updated the party font, retained solely the party torch, and neutralised its garish colours to a standard white, grey and red hue.

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