Saturday, 23 September 2023

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The national flag, to hang or not to hang

By Terry Xu

TRE posted an article earlier about what a reader wrote to them about grassroot leaders going around asking residents to hang the national flag.

Was pretty disturbed by the thought of the reader and being intrigued by the low number of flags hanging around my estate, I decided to go around asking my neighbours for their reason of hanging and not hanging the flag.

A elderly couple who are about 60 years old each said they hang the flags every year without fail and said it was a no brainer that people have to put up flags.

Another old man who was along the corridor when I approached him, said that he hang the flag every year without fail because its the nation’s birthday and said, its very cheap to get the flag at $2 only from the community centre.

A middle aged mother with her young kid stood behind the gate said, the kids always remind her to hang the flag during national day. She suppose that is what the schools have taught them in school.

A maid called the grandma of the house out when I knocked the door of the flat, the grandma said no flags given out by RC so didn’t put out. If they did give out, she would surely put the flags out.

One auntie hanging her clothes out said, very troublesome to put the flag out and she does not have the flag after returning the flag back when it discolored. She didn’t know how much is the flag though she know its pretty cheap. Another reason that she gave was that the flag always fly up when the wind blows and pretty irritating to see it that way, so decided not to hang up the flag.

Another auntie said, this year the RC did not go around asking people to put up flags neither were there notices to ask people to hang the flags up. She does not have a flag at home as well.

Pretty much sum up what the rest said about the reasons of why they hang and don’t hang their flags.

Blocks within working distance at Toa Payoh
Blocks within working distance at Toa Payoh

While at Toa Payoh, a scene of a HDB flat fully adorned with Singapore national flags contrast against another HDB block without any flags. Being curious, I went up the flat and asked one auntie who was just outside her unit, hanging her clothes out to dry. She said the RC came and put the flags out for them so they didn’t need to hang any flag up. Sure enough, a close look at the national flag hung outside her flag showed a marking that indicated “RC1”.

Flag marked with “RC1”

Anyway, after walking around and asking all these people in my estate, I decided to go down to the community centre in my neighbourhood to purchase the flag for $2 so that I can hang it outside my flat.

It is quite comforting that no one had said that it is due to the government that they did not put up the national flag or a sense of non-belonging to the country.
But the reasons for that might be different with the working population that was still at work when I walked around my estate.

While hanging up of the Singapore national flag purportedly implies loyalty or love for the country, but it doesn’t mean that those who do not hang their flags out do not love their country said in a comment by Jeffery Yeo on TOC’s fanpage.

True enough, loyalty comes from the heart and one’s action rather than a mere symbolic gesture to express one’s feeling towards the nation.

So what’s your reason for putting up the national flag and for not putting up one?


The write up that comes with the flag.



And note that the rules for the time frame to hang the state flag has been changed,  citizens can now hang their flags from 1st July to 30th September.

From Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Rules – Part III – Use and Display of Flag
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