a community of singaporeans

Displaying the national flag

Posted by theonlinecitizen on July 28, 2007

By Andrew Loh

National Day is just around the corner but walking around some HDB estates, you will notice the scarcity or absence of the national flag being displayed.

So, why are Singaporeans not displaying the flag – proudly and openly?

Is it because it is still some days away from National Day? Or are there other reasons?

In my opinion, displaying the flag as a sign of our allegiance to or love for our country is indeed a significant thing. A solemn act, even.

The flag symbolizes our country.

And as citizens of this country, whether you’re rich or poor, male or female, young or old, of whichever race or religion, we should be proud and not shy away from showing our love for our nation.

Perhaps it is a good a time as any, during this period leading up to our nation’s birthday, to pause and think about what Singapore really means to each of us.

For better or worse, Singapore is home.

And once a year, wouldn’t it be good to show this by displaying the flag which symbolizes that?

Perhaps in the days nearer to National Day, more Singaporeans – of all persuasions – will take part in this simple act of celebrating Singapore and put up the flag.

The following video, titled “Flags Of Our Fathers – Where?” is contributed by a reader of theonlinecitizen and the scenes are taken from the central and western part of Singapore. It was shot on the 23rd and 24th of July, 2007.

You can view the longer version of the video here.


17 Responses to “Displaying the national flag”

  1. Robert HO said

    *Comments removed by Editor for defamatory innuendo

  2. LCC said


    Actually, looking out my window and the HBD block neigbouring mine, I see a lot of national flags being displayed. However, the question is, as I have asked in this old blog entry of mine, who are the ones hanging out these flags?

    That aside, I suppose that one possible reason why people are not displaying the national flag on their own accord could be that they perhaps see it as a state symbol which they have little emotional attachment and/or identification with.

    Indeed, based on my own observation, education about national symbols, such as the national flag, national anthem & national pledge, perhaps remain on quite a superficial level, resulting in little awareness of the significance of these symbols.

    Also, it seems to me that the extensive rules & regulations pertaining to the use of these national symbols could have resulted in people seeing them more as state symbols (like the Singapore Coat of Arms) than as Singaporean symbols.

    Yet, that said, I think we need to note that the displaying of national flags is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition of patriotism in Singaporeans. In other words, one may display the national flag outside one’s house but that does not necessarily mean that he/she is patriotic and vice versa.

  3. shoestring said

    There is a dilemma here. Can we honestly display the Singapore flag, with all that symbolism referred to in the video, when in reality hardly matches up to it?

    Yes, if we see the gesture as a hope we hold for the future, and no if it is just to put up a facade to show that we are all one big happy family celebrating our country’s birthday.

  4. Lackluster said

    In used to put up our National Flag every year without fail,
    since independence day in 1965 until 1994. And I had purposely
    went to buy a new flag every year at my own expense.

    But after that, I got sick and tired and refused to put up any
    more. Then the RC people came to put it up for me, also every
    year, until I move out of the constituency.

    Now, in my present constituency which is a new estate, no RC
    people bother to come and put up the flag for us. I can only
    see a few miserable flags hanging out. not more than ten.

  5. My home is for me to rest. It is not a place to show my political alliance or support for the country.

    If I wish I can display the national flag. If I don’t, I don’t want people to pressure me to do so. It is my right. Without a flag flying, it does not mean I am anti Singapore.

    I am a proud Chinese Singaporean. Our tiny country is the Patmos Island in South East Asia.

    See my blog at – A Voice From Singapore.

  6. Andrew said

    Hi all,

    Lets hope that Singaporeans who equate the flag with being supportive of any political party will understand that the flag represents something else, something more important.

    And that whatever one may think of anyone, or any system, that the flag stands for something which transcends that.


  7. Piggy said

    what is the point of hanging the flag to show “allegiance” to a place you have no VOICE in???

    *Comments edited by moderator

  8. Numb Already said

    I agree that the flag represents something more, something larger than political allegiance to any party. It represents our home, our country. However, the reality is that many disillusioned citizens’ perception has come to associate it with a show of allegiance to the ruling party. Unfortunate but real. Like “Lackluster” highlighted, when the RC’s start to “pressure” pple to display flags, this only exacerbate the problem. Do most Singaporeans willingly and proudly display the flag? How many of these flags are now put up by grassroots members? How to gauge the pride and pulse of the people?

  9. kid said

    isnt it naive to say that displaying the national flag is a sign of patriotism? come on give me a break. since when were things ever so simple? i could very well be wearing a “save the earth” t shirt and taking more plastic bags than i necessarily need.

  10. Kin said

    In the distance Past: “This is a duty of a citizen”

    In the not too distance Past: “If the goverment ask me to do then I will do else bo chap”

    At present: “If the government offer me incentive to do it, then i will else bo chap”

    Incentives can buy loyalty of voters, it can also be used to purchase patriotism

  11. raymondchua said

    By flying the flag, we are just approving what PAP is doing and become a propaganda instrument for them because Singapore has long been equal to PAP. PAP own Singapore not Singaporean, otherwise why we only take order from them, and even need to politician to even talk about politics ?

    People who has watch Spiderman Part 3 will know that good Superman wears red attire, whereas the evil Spiderman aka Venon wears black. I will only put the flag if the flag is painted Black instead of RED, because this is really the what of PAP is ! A venom !

  12. raymondchua said

    Why not just fly our red underwear to prove our patriotism to PAP ? That’s more credibile and sincere instead !

  13. pkchukiss said

    What Andrew and Numb both wrote are correct. Andrew is commenting on what should have been the case, while Numb is pointing out that the current situation of the country. If the situation outlined by Andrew is the desired outcome, then there’s a whole lot of work to be done to de-link the country symbols from the government.

    On a side note, it is interesting to see that there is still no change in the number of houses flying the flats despite the change in the economy. Perhaps it is worthy to note that the economy has little to do with the current situation?

  14. LITTLEBOY said

    hang flag beyond NDP period oso can get fined, of course i no mood to hang flag. In other countries, they can hang whenever they want. here must follow timetable or FINE!

  15. I spy said

    […] best or worse is yet to come. Meanwhile do check your flag at the window. Just make sure it is displayed correctly. Sphere: Related […]

  16. commoner said

    Displaying the national flag is no longer a patriotic act. It’s the fine that make some people still do it, if not out of habit. G let this happened because they have caused us disgrace when they didn’t do anything when foreigners burn our national flag overseas. In our hearts, they are only good at punishing us. Is this not so?

  17. Daniel said

    “In our hearts they are only good at punishing us.”

    By forcing us to buy and put a flag against our will just for wayang, isn’t that even more punishing for us ?

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