THE BAHAMAS: After 244 Years, Independence

At precisely one minute past midnight this Tuesday, the Union Jack will be lowered in Nassau's Clifford Park. Then, as fireworks thunder and crowds cheer, the black, gold and aquamarine Bahamian flag (the colors symbolize the people, the sun and the sea) will be hoisted into place, highlighting a boisterous, twelve-day celebration that will mark the independence of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas after nearly a quarter-millennium of British rule.

To stage this gaudiest of galas, Prime Minister Lynden O. Pindling's government spent some $2,000,000. The week leading up to Independence Day was an...

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