THE EDITOR: Wherever I journey throughout our nation, the red, white and black always captivates my attention. Unfortunately, many times I look upon a worn and/or torn flag and I become disturbed.
With much zeal, I desired to know more about the flag and its rules. My enquiries revealed many violations of the rules, including height inconsistencies, displaying the flag at night, worn and/or torn flags etc.
No other flag should be displayed above or to the right of the national flag, ie, the flag’s own right or the observer’s left. All other flags flown together with the national flag should be placed to the left of it. It is also important to mention that all franchises must ensure compliance with the height rules at all their branches.
There are only two occasions when other flags can be flown at the same height as the national flag.
Firstly, with the President’s Standard on special days and secondly when the flags of two or more countries are displayed.
The flag should not be flown after sunset, except inside a building. However, on important ceremonial occasions it may be displayed in the open after sunset when it should be floodlit, if possible.
I have noticed worn and torn flags that are still on display. When used in this manner it brings the flag into a state of disgrace. A potential solution to all stakeholders is to have a new national flag in reserve.
The national flag represents us as a multiracial, multicultural and multireligious nation. It also represents all the emigrants from various nations who attained citizenship in the country.
It represents the various financial classes of people. It represents all political and labour parties. It represents us as a sovereign democratic nation when we became independent from England on August 31, 1962.
It represents us as a republic State attained on August 1, 1976. The flag represents all the emblems on the coat of arms, the anthem, the pledge, the song, the flower and the national instrument.
Finally, it represents the colours and their meaning.
Educating the children on the importance of the flag, the colours and meaning is valid. Participation in the hoisting and lowering of the flag will instil pride and respect for it.
Manufacturers of authentic flags (meaning the sewn one and not the printed one) should have the responsibility to include an information manual for its care.
This is mainly where the abuse of the flag originates. All citizens have the right to purchase the flag, but not everyone has knowledge about its care.
Is there a committee to champion the cause of the flag? Is there a group of people with the authority to enforce all the rules of the flag?
If not, we need such a committee urgently. This is a matter of national interest and it should not be taken lightly.
DONNA-MARIE PAUL-POON YING