Fri, Jan 19, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Flying ‘red’ flags is not ‘expression’

By Chu Meng-hsiang 朱孟庠

The US Communist Control Act is a federal law that was signed by then-US president Dwight Eisenhower on Aug. 24, 1954.

The act outlaws the Communist Party of the USA and organizations that support the party or communist ideology. It also defines what evidence juries should consider in determining participation in the activities, planning, actions, objectives or purposes of such organizations.

The act dates from a time when the US was chief among the “first world” camp of democratic nations and was applying a strategy of containment to the “second world” camp of communist countries.

On the domestic front, the US adopted the Communist Control Act to suppress communism and safeguard national security. The US is without doubt a democracy, but, in the interests of national security, it took firm measures to oppose communism.

Last year some Taiwanese used the National Development Council’s public policy participation Web site to submit a proposal to add to the Criminal Code a clause banning the display of China’s national flag, known as the five-star red flag.

The Ministry of Justice issued an official response to the proposal, rejecting it on the grounds that it would be incompatible with the Constitution’s purpose of safeguarding citizens’ freedom of expression.

This decision suggests that the ministry is oblivious to the critical reality that Communist China’s bayonets are closing in on Taiwan.

Surely the most urgent thing now for free Taiwan is for the nation’s leaders to demonstrate a firm national will. However, the ministry’s response has been taken by those people who like to display the five-star red flag as an act of surrender and it makes them all the more confident to go on flying the flag.

For instance, someone had the strange idea of decorating Mofan Street in Jinmen County’s Jincheng Township (金城) by hanging Republic of China “white sun” flags on one side of the street and People’s Republic of China “five star” flags on the other.

Local residents have even been boasting about this move and calling it a marvelous idea.

They have said it encourages more visitors to “check in” and that media reports are bringing in more tourists.

This absurdity shows their inability to distinguish friend from foe, and it is likely to set off a butterfly effect that leads to similar things happening in other places.

Considering the major implications that this trend could have for public and military morale, as well as national security, how could the Ministry of Justice issue such a hasty response that saps Taiwan’s national will?

A national flag is a symbol that declares a nation’s sovereignty and marks the extent of its territory. Displaying the five-star red flag, which is the flag of an enemy country, is not a matter of words, but an action, putting it beyond the bounds of freedom of speech.

Such actions do fall within the bounds of what is permitted under the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法), but what has really been going on for a long time is the occupation of our streets by violent “red” groups who stir up trouble as they attempt to use our democratic society’s soft spots to subvert Taiwan.

This menace is becoming a plague on the nation, so how can the government bury its head in the sand and fail to respond by promoting legislation that reflects this reality?

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