Why Do Singaporeans Have To Put Away Their Flags By 30 Sep?

After Wednesday (September 30), Singaporeans who continue to display their national flags outside their homes face a fine of up to S $ 1,000.

The Singapore Flag and Arms Rules and the National Anthem state that the flag may only be displayed outside a building or in an open area without a pole between July 1 and September 30.

This begs the question: why can we only put the national flag up until September 30?

Internet users are perplexed

When news broke of the Singapore $ 1,000 fine for not removing the flags, social media was abuzz with comments.

Most internet users did not know why they would be fined if they only engaged in a display of patriotism.

remove the flag before september 30 singapore
Comments on The Straits Times Facebook page / Image credit: The Straits Times via Facebook

According to the National Heritage Board, the primary concern underlying all guidelines associated with the flag is that it “should be treated with dignity and respect at all times.”

The Council also said that all worn or damaged flags should be disposed of properly and it is recommended that they not be left out in bad weather, during regular hours.

Therefore, it is plausible that the government will order that the flags be removed after September 30 of each year, so that they will not be left out for long periods of time and will not be subject to damage.

One consideration in enabling the display of the flag will be whether we can safeguard the dignity of the flag, including how it might be subjected to wear and tear resulting from prolonged display or neglect.

Letchumanan Narayanan, Senior Director of MCCY’s Resilience and Engagement Division, in a statement to the Straits Times

Flag rules have evolved over time

remove the flag before september 30 singapore
Image Credit: The Independent

In 2007, the rules for the flag were changed to allow it to be displayed without a pole or needing to be lit at night between July 1 and September 30.

This was previously only allowed during the month of August, instead of the National Day celebrations.

This year, the deadline has been extended and Singaporeans could begin displaying their flags from April 25, as a symbol of rallying amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was extended after the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) received requests from the public to be allowed to display the flag for a longer period.

Our love for Singapore cannot be measured in months. I think Singaporeans should be given the choice to express our love for Singapore. Especially in these difficult times, hanging our national flag is a sign of solidarity and a reminder to Singaporean compatriots of our national values.

– Tin Pei Ling, MP for MacPherson SMC and member of the government parliamentary committee on culture, community and youth, in a statement to the Straits Times

However, MacPherson SMC MP and member of the government parliamentary committee for culture, community and youth, Tin Pei Ling added that the flag “should be hung properly and properly maintained according to guidelines.”

Therefore, Singaporeans who wish to express their love for the nation should do so in a less visible manner for the rest of the year.

Featured Image Credit: Republic of Singapore Air Force via Facebook

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Jothi Venkat

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