Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 3 News List

If Dog Frisbee can fly the flag, everyone should: Chen

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Frisbee Dog Club seems to have spurred the president into some kind of action on the sporting front.

With the soccer World Cup approaching the next round, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday expressed regret that Taiwan cannot be identified by its national markers at international sporting competitions.

"Taiwan is the only country that competes in the Olympic Games that cannot sing its national anthem and fly its national flag," the president said in his weekly e-newsletter.

REGRETS

Chen said he was filled with regret when he saw players from other countries and their supporters holding their national flags.

"The Caribbean island country Trinidad and Tobago, which has a population of about 1.1 million, and the west African country Togo, with an area of only 56,000km2, became a focus of global attention because of their performances in the World Cup," he said.

Chen said he would like to see the public participate in more international competitions and local governments hosting international matches to raise the profile of the country.

Chen made the remarks in response to a letter from Ho Tsai-yuan (何財源), a member of the Taiwan Frisbee Dog Club.

DOG FRISBEE

Ho told Chen that he and fellow members were thrilled to see their national flag flown during an international Frisbee Dog contest in Japan earlier this month. Organizers had also printed Taiwan's national emblem and the national flag on the Frisbees, Ho said.

Chen said the public must not give up striving for the nation's rights, nor must local governments forbid the public from bringing the national flag into venues where international competitions are held.

The president said it was strange that the Taipei City Government had banned spectators from bringing their own flags to national and international sporting events last year.

At the time, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the decision was made because the events were privately organized and that the city government had no authority over the tournaments other than leasing the venues.

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