The question of whether changes should be made to the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) party emblem became the subject of controversy yesterday, with the Executive Yuan promising to revise the National Emblem Law (中華民國國徽國旗法) to allow the changes. \nThe KMT's emblem's similarity to Taiwan's national emblem -- and therefore the national flag -- became a hot topic of debate on Sunday night after President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) demanded the KMT change its emblem within three months to eliminate the confusion between the two symbols. \nThe KMT said yesterday that Chen's real problem was with the national emblem -- in keeping with his pro-independence tendencies. Party officials said the KMT would not give into pressure. \nThe Executive Yuan, however, said that it was looking for ways to revise the law to make sure the KMT falls in line. \nThe KMT's emblem features a 12-pointed white sun on a blue background symbolizing the sky. \nThe flag has the white sun-blue sky in its upper-left corner, with a crimson background. \nWhile the government has no plans to change the flag, said Cabinet Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), the Executive Yuan will soon start work on revising the National Emblem Law. \nClarifying the president's position, Chen Chi-mai said the government is not going to change the flag but will instead see to it that the National Emblem Law is amended within three months to pave the way for it to legally require the KMT to change its emblem. \nAccording to the National Emblem Law, the national flag belongs to the government of the Republic of China and should not be used "commercially" by anyone else, Chen Chi-mai said. \nHe also noted that the Trademark Act (商標法) stipulates that the national flag, national emblem or any pattern that is similar to the two cannot be used as logos or trademarks for any organization. \nBased on this, he said, the KMT has been using its logo illegally. \nKMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) said the party didn't need to wait three months to give its answer. \n"We can answer right now -- we will not change our party emblem. After political power changed hands in 2000, [the administration] changed the nation's emblem to the outside world. So Chen's goal should be to change the nation's emblem, not the party emblem," Chang said at the KMT's headquarters in Taipei. \n"If Chen is unhappy that the national emblem is similar to the party emblem, then we welcome the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] to embrace the national emblem in its party emblem," he said. \nHe said that since the DPP became the ruling party, the government has been slowly phasing out the use of the national emblem on official documents and its use by government agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. \nThe KMT legislative caucus also said that the president should be taking issue with the national emblem instead of the KMT's -- even though it called his remarks mere election rhetoric. \nAt a press conference in the legislature yesterday KMT caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) pointed to a poster displaying four different emblem and/or flag designs and called on the president to choose a new national emblem. \n"All these flags have been proposed or used in the past. We give Chen Shui-bian three days to make a choice," Huang said. \nThe choices included the KMT party emblem, the national flag, a red, yellow, blue and white flag with black horizontal bars, and a flag similar to the current one but with a green background instead. \nAccording to the Government Information Office's Web site, the five-color flag was used by the Shanghai army before 1911 to represent the five main ethnic groups of China. \nAccording to Huang's research office, the flag with the green background was proposed in 1951 by Aboriginal groups as a possible national flag design. \nHuang said that the difference between the national and KMT's emblems was clear because of the different size of the 12-pointed suns. \nHuang said the KMT would not try to stop the government from changing the national emblem. He warned that the government would have to take full responsibility for the consequences of such a move, which the outside world might view as pro-independence.
PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying: