Sun, Mar 01, 2009 - Page 2 News List

REMEMBERING THE 228 INCIDENT: Kinmen County ignores order to fly flag at half mast

THIRD TIME County chief Lee Chu-feng said that if the authorities wanted Kinmen to observe 228, they should first observe two incidents on Kinmen

STAFF WRITER

The Kinmen County Government caused an uproar yesterday for ignoring a central government regulation mandating that the national flag be flown at half mast throughout the country on 228 Memorial Day.

The Kinmen County Government, instead, displayed three county flags on top of the county government building. Meanwhile, the branches of the central government in Kinmen and the Kinmen Council all had the national flags at half-mast yesterday.

It was the third year in a row that Kinmen County Commissioner Lee Chu-feng (李炷烽) of the New Party had the county flag raised instead of flying the national flag at half-mast on 228 Memorial Day.

Lee argued that if the central government wanted the national flag flown at half-mast on Feb. 28, it should do the same thing to commemorate the Kuningtou Battle (古寧頭炮戰) and the 823 Artillery Bombardment (八 二 三 炮戰).

The Kuningtou Battle took place on Oct. 25, 1949, when Nationalist forces repelled two regiments of China's People's Liberation Army in Kinmen. Meanwhile, Aug. 23, 1958 marked the beginning of the 823 Artillery Bombardment in which China dropped as many as 500,000 bombs on Kinmen over a period of 44 days.

Some Kinmen residents said that as the 228 Incident did not take place in Kinmen County, there was not much significance in ordering the county government to fly the national flag at half-mast on that day.

Others, however, said that as the central government has already made efforts to sympathize with the families of 228 victims, Kinmen residents should not ignore the order, causing other people to misunderstand their reasons.

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