18 Apr 2012

American Samoa status challenged in Flag Day address

1:58 pm on 18 April 2012

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono has urged American Samoans to change the territory's status as an unincorporated and unorganised territory of the United States.

Speaking in his Flag Day address, the Governor talked about the partioning of the Samoan islands, and says Samoans did not want to be partitioned but had no say.

Togiola says American Samoa ceded its authority to someone else, and has never sought to find out what unincorporated and unorganised means.

"I think, the time has come that we do our duty and read between the lines. We've been left unorganised and unincorporated for 112 years, I ask you, are you happy with that? Is that a political status that you would like your children to grow up in?"

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono.

Dignitaries attending the Flag Day celebrations include Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Tonga's Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulukalala, the US Assistant Secretary of Interior for Insular Affairs, Anthony Babauta, the governor general of Tuvalu and Ulu o Tokelau, Kerisiano Kalolo.