Fri, Mar 27, 2015 - Page 8 News List


ROC flag — points to ponder

The Republic of China’s (ROC) flag has been discussed interestingly by Torch Pratt (Letters, March 21, page 8) and Calvin Pond (Letter, March 23, page 8).

The ROC flag was adopted after the founding of the ROC in China in 1911. Taiwanese did not see this “blue sky, white sun and red ground” flag — nicknamed the “wheel brand” (車輪牌) — on the island until 1945 after the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan during World War II, following which Japan surrendered unconditionally and abandoned Taiwan without specifying the beneficiary in the San Francisco Peace Treaty or the Taipei Treaty.

Many Taiwanese do not like the “blue sky, white sun” because that is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) emblem or the “red ground,” that could be associated with the blood spilled in Taiwan — such as during the 228 Incident in 1947 and the many executions carried out during the 38-year White Terror era.

The ROC flag was good for a one-party totalitarian nation like the ROC before. In 2000 when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in power, some people suggested that the “blue sky, white sun” should be changed to the “map of Taiwan” — the DPP party emblem. Now Taiwan has several political parties like the KMT, DPP, Taiwan Solidarity Union, People First Party, New Party, Independence Party, Republic Party and even independents such as Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). A new flag of common interest is needed.

The ROC flag is sometimes called the “Taiwan flag.” Many people oppose this term, arguing that Taiwan is not a country. They forget that the ROC is considered a non-country by the US, China, Japan, the UN and so on. They even call Taiwan “Chinese Taipei” instead.

The ROC flag is forbidden in China, but the Chinese flag can be carried freely in Taiwan — even in front of Taipei 101. In fact, the Ma administration tries to hide the ROC flag from Chinese officials or sportspeople visiting Taiwan. These clearly indicate that the so-called “1992 consensus” is nothing but a fiction — having no “respective description” for the ROC.

Like the ROC flag having the KMT emblem, “our party (KMT)” is mentioned in the ROC national anthem, and “Taiwan” is reportedly not mentioned at all in the ROC Constitution!

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

Taiwan’s red, white and blue

Calvin Pond’s recent letter (Letter, March 23, page 8) has had me walking on clouds all day. I could not be happier that he wrote and submitted this to my favorite newspaper.

In response to several points he raised, first I would like to say that his recounting of Canada’s transition to the new flag was fantastic, and something I myself never heard about. I agree that both Canada’s flag and Taiwan’s are truly unique.

I am a part-time stand-up comedian, and several of the things I wrote about are hyperbolic, such as Taiwan and Myanmar on the Internet. I usually take out all the “haha” and “LOL” bits before I submit it to the editor, haha.

Pond’s analysis of Canada vis-a-vis Peru flags was informative. I am delighted that he responded with such wisdom and explanation — (I’m in my late 40s).

On the non-hyperbolic side, we have the fact that, “in accordance with the law,” foreigners can be thrown out of Taiwan for — get this — playing live music in public. Police are required to follow up on complaints from locals, which may include disgruntled former foreign friends of the live music performer.

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