Useful Notes: Liberia
A war-torn country in the west coast of Africa, neighbouring Sierra Leone. Like its neighbour, it was settled as a colony for freed slaves, this time from America. Thus the capital is named Monrovia, in honour of James Monroe whose plans helped the idea of resettlement back in Africa come to exist. The freed slaves were not particularly friendly towards the native Liberians, in fact they treated them as they had once been when enslaved. Such divisions between the settlers and the natives caused Samuel K. Doe to lead a coup against the then government of Liberia in The '80s. This led to a a long and vicious civil war sparking off war in neighbouring Sierra Leone. How vicious, you ask? Well, Samuel K. Doe was eventually tortured to death by a rival named Prince Y. Johnson. Said torture was filmed, and allegedly showed Prince sipping a Budweiser while Doe was getting his ear hacked off. The film made the rounds in various African marketplaces. Charles Taylor then took things over and screwed things up in neighboring countries (funding rebels, etc.) until he was forced to leave by international pressure, spearheaded by former US president George H.W. Bush. Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president afterwards. Things have been relatively peaceful there since then...but unfortunately, in 2014, Ebola struck. The previously mentioned Sirleaf is Africa's first female president. Alongside Ethiopia, it is the only country on the continent not to be colonised by Europeans (not counting the Italian invasion before World War II) and, unlike Ethiopia, it is the only country on the continent that wasn't from a traditional African nation or a former European colony. Has a unique relationship tie with America because of the former American Colonization Society.
- Child Soldiers
- Full-Frontal Assault: Joshua Blahyi / General Butt Naked (see below)
- Heel-Faith Turn: General Butt Naked (real name Joshua Blahyi) was one of the warlords of Liberia during the civil war and was one of the most heinous and dangerous. Then he converted to Christianity and became a preacher who tried to help Liberia recover from the war.
- I'm a Humanitarian: many of the various warlords and rebel groups were widely known for eating the flesh of their opponents or of innocent victims killed for ritual purposes (it was believed that the hearts and blood of children would fend off harm). Apparently the practice continues to this day, with parts of abandoned bodies often going mysteriously missing, although it's mostly out of hunger rather than ritual these days.
- James Monroe: The capital city was named after him.
- Lord of War: provides the setting of the movie.
- Meaningful Name: Liberia means freedom. The country was founded by freed slaves.
- Michael Jackson: Liberian Girl of course.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Many warlords of Liberia took intimidating pseudonyms. General Rambo, General Bin-Laden, General Mosquito (because mosquitoes bring malaria), General Mosquito Killer (who fought against General Mosquito) and so on. YMMV if General Butt Naked is an example of this or an aversion
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Liberia has one of the world's largest fleets of merchant ships registered under their flag because of this.
- The Generalissimo: Samuel Doe, altough he was only a 29-year old sergeant when he came to power.
The flag shares a similar design to that of the United States, alluding to the country's origins in the American Colonization Society. Eleven alternating stripes of red (symbolizing valor) and white (symbolizing purity) recall eleven men who signed the Liberian Declaration of Independence — Samuel Benedict, John Day, Anthony William Gardiner, J.B. Gripon, Amos Herring, Elijah Johnson, John Lewis, Richard Murray, Jacob Prout, Ephraim Titler, and Beverly Wilson; the blue (symbolizing fidelity) canton symbolizes Africa, and the white star symbolizes freedom.