For the first time Samoa is celebrating its independence without a public flag-raising ceremony and march past at the traditional Tiafau malae in Mulinu’u.

The change comes as the country marks 58 years of independence while still in a State of Emergency put in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, of which Samoa has no cases.

This year pre-packaged segments have been aired on local television and posted on social media including a short church service, the head of state’s address, and the raising of the flag by the member of the council of deputies.

Samoa gained independence in January 1962 after 40 years of New Zealand administration.

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