The right to burn the flag


Helen Saada-Ching complained in a letter to the Straits Times (Life! section, 27 July 2013) that at a recent performance of Alfian Sa’at’s Cook a pot of curry, many in the audience did not stand up for the national anthem. Then the play ended with a “cheap gimmick” when the stage curtain — the Singapore flag — “came loose and plummeted to the ground”. Quoting another playwright, Eleanor Wong, she lamented the desecration of national symbols.

Helen probably missed a freudian slip within her own letter. Opening her second paragraph, she wrote, “Being programmed by years attending school assemblies, I stood up” when the national anthem was played. (Emphasis mine). I will come back to this later.

Two trends seem to be reinforcing the fetish of worshipping such symbols in Singapore. The rise of opposition politics has seen a need to cling to state symbols to forfend accusations of disloyalty. More recently, the rise of xenophobic politics has likewise made the flag and anthem useful for their reflected legitimacy. I find both these manifestations ironic, for it is the state, or at least the fundamental nature of the Singapore state, that has created the problems which energised these movements. To cling to the symbols of the problematic state while opposing the outcomes of its nature seems inherently contradictory.

* * * * *

Let’s get something straight:  the flag does not represent Singapore as a country. It represents the state, just like all other national flags.

Country and state are not the same thing. It is entirely possible to feel great attachment to a country but at the same time abhor the state. A country’s symbols are seldom formal; they may consist of iconic images of landscape, an immediately recognisable accent, cuisine, architecture, music or some forms of mordant humour. Generally, the collection of symbols would have come together organically.

Which country is evoked by this piece of art?

Which country is evoked by this piece of art?

In contrast, a state’s symbols are almost always invented whether recently or far in the past; if the symbols have deep historical or cultural roots, then they might have been requisitioned by the state for its purposes. An example of the latter is the way the German Federal Republic requisitioned a 1797 work of [correction] Joseph Haydn [/correction] (composed before Germany even came to exist as a state) to be its anthem.

Below is another anthem: Jerusalem, composed by Charles Hubert Parry, with tonal arrangement by Edward Elgar, set to a poem by William Blake.

This is not an official anthem of any state. It is an unofficial anthem, recognised only by the people, to represent England the country (not Britain or the UK). In any event, England does not exist as a state. The text is a powerful amalgam of Christian myth, romantic nostalgia, and soaring vows for a more ethical future.

Ditto with flags. Actually, I can’t immediately think of any flag representing a country; they all represent states. And there’s a reason for that: flags evolved historically  from banners carried over masses of soldiers as they marched into battle. Inescapably, flags represent the politico-military structures that underpin states.

The distinction between countries and states is easily illustrated through a brief review of state flags, in the course of which I will re-state my point: it is possible and quite legitimate to bifurcate one’s feelings between country and state.


Above are flags that have flown over Germany and its capital, Berlin. It’s the same country throughout, but different states have occupied the geographical space and ruled over the same people (more or less) in the last 120 years. Each state represented different values, are remembered for markedly different policies and outcomes, and naturally engendered different feelings. Germans can abhor one while being proud of another. In fact, we expect right-thinking people, German or not, to find one among the above set highly objectionable.

pic_201307_16At right is another example. These are flags that over the last 100 years have flown over the same geographical area: South Africa. The first of the triplet was when the Union of South Africa was a self-governing part of the British Empire. The British settlers lorded over the Boers while the Black Africans were treated dismissively — as natives were in so many other parts of the empire.

The second flag represented a different, independent South Africa, but one where the Boers — now calling themselves Afrikaaners — were ascendant. The structure of this state they created, however, was heavily identified with the policy of apartheid that disenfranchised Blacks, Indians and mixed-race individuals, brutally suppressing the ensuing opposition for good measure.

So, when all these structures were dismantled in 1990, and new structures created in their place, the result was for all intents and purposes a new state. With it came a new flag — the third in the series.

In the German and South African examples, new states arose after wrenching change. But even when no wrenching change occurs, new flags are still adopted because the people may feel that the old one is too much identified with values and memories they’d rather pack away.

pic_201307_17At left are the flags of Canada. The first was for a state that valued its strong linkages with Britain. By the centenary of self-governance — which by then had long evolved into independent statehood —  a new flag removing all vestiges of the Union Jack and insignia of the royal family was needed. It was also important to have a flag that French Canadians could identify with.

In other words, as the state evolved, so at some point a new flag was needed.

* * * * *

The Singapore flag we know today does not represent Singapore the country and its people; it represents the state.

You may point out that the state is not coterminous with the government, even less with the People’s Action Party. It should be possible to be loyal to the state without being subservient to the present government or the PAP.

But I would argue that when a certain government, its policies and ruling style (in other words, a regime) have been in place for a long time, the state becomes indelibly associated with its characteristics. This is true of the historical examples I have cited from Germany, South Africa and Canada. Consequently, it becomes perfectly legitimate for someone to say he opposes not just the PAP, but the myriad state structures that have been created by them, and to wish for a new, reconstituted state with different ethos. If, in his mind, the current Singapore flag represents a state that he finds profoundly objectionable, why should he not burn it?

* * * * *

Now I come back to Helen Saada-Ching’s freudian slip.

States, being artificial creations, need to artificially create loyalties. Thus the investment in symbols and ritual. Flooding the airwaves, dispensing money to buy loyalty (and armies of foreign workers to string up flags in housing estates), putting up glitzy shows and fireworks are the means that come immediately to mind. But there’s also the use of power over schools and the educational curriculum. Inculcating habits of observance of ritual (and a feeling of shame if one does not fall in with the crowd), together with the shaping of minds towards “national” perspectives — what is known as “programming” — are in fact the primary tools of state propaganda.

The state may also rely on its power of coercion, especially if  a lonely instance of demurral is feared to encourage more dissent. Thus we have laws that make it a criminal offence to deface the flag or other symbols of the state.

But by the same token, when a state no longer represents the aspirations of the people, resistance to the state and its symbols is the noble course of action.

We should see clearly that laws compelling loyalty or “respect” for symbols of a state are no different from laws against blasphemy, lese majeste or “scandalising the court”. These are laws that forbid rejection and criticism, and demand fealty on pain of state-sanctioned punishment. Not only do they violate a plain and simple dictum — respect has to be earned, not compelled — true liberty must include the freedom of conscience and expression.

It is undeniable that there are states in this world that deserve no respect and that should be opposed and extinguished. Whether you think the Singapore state is among them is a matter for each person’s conscientious opinion. The test for forming that opinion, however, may well be whether the same Singapore state protects your right to freedom of expression, should you wish to say it is.

53 Responses to “The right to burn the flag”

  1. 1 Yauming Ymc 29 July 2013 at 10:55

    The flag is the best we have to symbolize us – otherwise – and I’m not being trite here – what else? Fishhead curry, Chilli crab, chicken rice, the SIA girl , the Merlion, etc.. are all national symbols as far as I’m concerned but our flag for better or for worse represents us the nation, the people. It does not represent a political party like the Nazi flag did for Nazi Germany. It represents us and all Singaporean should respect it.

    • 2 Trasvaal 29 July 2013 at 22:17

      Is it necessary to have something to symbolise us?

    • 3 Sashaqueenie 31 July 2013 at 07:06

      I would not be represented by a piece of fabric. I will NOT be represented by just a flag. Don’t place too much emphasis on symbolism. It’s all in your head. It is nothing more than just colours, shapes and patterns. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  2. 4 Yewey 29 July 2013 at 11:06

    I thought it’s a bit different in Singapore. Most of us still identify with the values and system represented by our flag. Except that the implementation done by the state has since drifted a distance away. We don’t want to burn the flag, we just want to state to come back onto the path that it was travelling on originally.

  3. 7 sporescores 29 July 2013 at 11:20

    This is such a great article. Alex, you’ve outdone yourself once again.

  4. 9 Ivan Thomasz 29 July 2013 at 12:32

    Begging your pardon, Alex, but “Afrikaans” is the language, whereas “Afrikaaners” is what the Boers called themselves after they gained control of the state of South Africa.

  5. 11 Alasdair 29 July 2013 at 12:44

    Flags are designed with meaning in mind… I quote, conveniently from Wikipedia.

    The red symbolises “universal brotherhood and equality of man”, and white, “pervading and everlasting purity and virtue”. The waxing crescent moon “represents a young nation on the ascendant”. The five stars “stand for the nation’s ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality”

    If these ideals do not resonate with you or is contrary to your beliefs, you may burn the flag. But if this is what you stand for, you stand behind the Singapore flag. Surely we’re not quite there yet, but we will get there. Majulah Singapura.

    Personally, the flag has been part of my identity. When I look at our flag, I don’t see overcrowded trains, I don’t see the white paper, I don’t see expensive cars and housing. I see HDB estates, our families, my love for food, and definitely our sometimes detestable but beautiful countrymen, who’re kind, shy, honest, upright, kiasu and us who value harmony on the streets above anything else.


    • 12 The 29 July 2013 at 16:31

      Yes, another case of programming (more like indoctrination) in schools and the National Education. Yes, we have been told what the the symbols in the state flag are supposed to represent. Are these the real values?

      Look at the flag more closely and you can see geo-politics at work here. As Singapore attained self government in 1959 and independence in 1965, it had to seek its place in the sun and to do that it has to show respect (kowtow is too strong a word) to its immediate giant neighbours.

      Malaysia and Indonesia are Muslim-majority countries – hence the crescent moon in Singapore’s state flag – to show comradeship. The 5 stars are China’s state flag symbol – so for good measure, we also incorporated the 5 stars in our flag. And who is 600 pound gorilla in our neighbourhood? Yes, Indonesia. And what is Indonesia’s state flag? Yes, you got it – red and white. (As an aside, if you turn it upside down, you get the flag of Poland.)

      So, in order to feel at-one with our neighbours, our state flag incorporated the symbols and symbolism of our neighbours.

      Am I imagining these things, or does anyone else think the same way as I?

      • 13 Lars 29 July 2013 at 19:28

        Wonderful and educative reply!
        I’m living outside of Singapore and have been asked if Singapore is a Muslim state given the choice of the crescent moon as a symbol on the flag. The first thing that came into my mind was what was taught in school when we were young – The waxing crescent moon “represents a young nation on the ascendant”. Can anyone explain how (visually or in words) it represents that? It’s one of those things that are quite obvious but amazes me that I have not questioned its true agenda my whole life.. I guess the Education worked!

      • 14 Chow 30 July 2013 at 19:36


        In the Northern Hemisphere, the waxing moon should be right visible (I.e opposite of what is on the flag of Singapore). In the Southern Hemisphere, the waxing moon will be as seen on the flag.

      • 15 yawningbread 30 July 2013 at 23:02

        Haha! Since we are (by a whisker) in the northern hemisphere, that means that if we view our flag in the normal way (i.e. with the moon and stars at the top left corner), the crescent moon on our flag is actually a waning (or dying) moon.


  6. 16 Anon 3edL 29 July 2013 at 12:45

    What does our flag represent?

    Red – Universal Brotherhood and equality of man (Nope, half the people I see on the street aren’t my brothers.)
    White – pervading and everlasting purity and virtue (Just read today’s paper, corruption all around)
    Crescent – a young nation on the ascendant (No longer the youngest, even in SE Asia)
    Stars – democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality (Don’t make me laugh, although, I would agree with the peace quality. Also, isn’t equality covered in Red?)

    I’d be more proud of a flag with a big middle finger in the centre, at least it expresses what I feel about our government.

  7. 17 Chris 29 July 2013 at 13:01

    Great article! Yet a small amendment. The National Anthem of Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) is composed by Joseph Haydn and was before with different text the Anthem of the Austro-Hungaro Empire
    You are right though, that it was composed before a Country named Germany came into being.

    The melody of the 9th Symphony of Beethoven is nowadays used without any text as anthem for the European Union. – Again composed long before the EU was founded.

  8. 18 Duh 29 July 2013 at 13:10

    If Singapore was a true democracy then people will have a sense of ownership over their country by selecting the government that best represents their collective interests. When the freedom to vote for their desired candidate is taken away and the govt fails to address the people’s concerns (the govt don’t have to since the system that they have manipulated over the years favours them to be in power), then the citizens start to lose national loyalty.

    It has been said many times though it does not make it false – the PAP is running a company (i.e., Singapore Inc.), not building a nation. At all times, the consideration for a govt is to develop its country and that includes its people and not inflate GDP – something that the UK govt has realised and is rectifying.

    The strange thing about Singapore is that, the majority of Singaporeans have no real experience living in a democratic nation where their rights are protected and their votes are free. Many Singaporeans grew up in PAP’s autocratic and dictatorial system, fed by their constant propaganda through the MSM. So what we see is alot of Singaporeans’ constant regurgitation of PAP mantras. (Do you see now where the whole model answering method of education in Singapore stands in this?) The other thing is, many Singaporeans’ only experience of state governance is the PAP’s and have never experienced any other alternative. When the few who do (e.g., went overseas for work or study), they seldom come back. So in a way, most Singaporeans are like frogs in a well.

    But with the internet and globalisation of news and the intermingling with people from developed nations, hopefully, Singaporeans can see that they have been deprived of their rights in calculated steps by the PAP since its independence. And this will make them push to be free from the grip of the PAP. Ah, one can only hope.

  9. 19 Emeritus Rachel Berry 29 July 2013 at 14:31

    This is BS. The flag represents Singapore as a country. And if you insist it symbolizes only the state – which means the Singapore state must have belonged to a country. Then which country does Singapore belong to? When someone burned the flag of USA, it is not desecrating the symbol of USA as a country? You got to be kidding yourself and try to fool others by the way.

  10. 24 FTMs 29 July 2013 at 14:31

    A complex issue made simple. Great piece Alex!

  11. 25 Davidson Lloyd 29 July 2013 at 15:06

    Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds & then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.
    ~ Arundhati Roy (Author of ‘The God of Small Things’)

    People don’t understand their true power, only giving it up to others.

  12. 26 Sophie 29 July 2013 at 15:09

    Still, there are some people here who CAN’T think out of the box…. and insist a flag should be respected. A flag evidently represents a STATE, not necessarily a symbol for the people.

  13. 27 henry 29 July 2013 at 15:23

    More than anything, Singaporeans will forgo freedom of expression, political lattitude all for the sake of economic benefits.

    Lawyers themselves will never get implicated in a cause too idealistic.

    But, as the income gap remains as wide, economic benefits are not felt and enjoyed by the majority of the electorate. Hence the accelerated speed in “distributing” assistance and speeches to denounce ‘elitism’.

    The time to burn the flag is not ripe…

  14. 28 mohan 29 July 2013 at 16:30

    “Helen Saada-Ching complained in a letter to the Straits Times”

    Did Helen complained in a letter to the Straits Times when certain old man remarked that our national pledge is just a aspiration in the parliament ? Or maybe she did, but letter get rejected ?

    either way, please enlighten us .

  15. 29 A Non 29 July 2013 at 18:56

    Don’t understanding prophetic language? Leave it for others to discipher.

  16. 30 Lye Khuen Way 29 July 2013 at 20:34

    The title of this post by Alex bring back memories of one encounter I had with my American vendor many decades ago.
    This gentlemen came during our National Day period so he was quite amused to see our State Flags on HDB flats, on Lamp Posts etc.
    I explained that we are only allowed to display the State Flag within the National Day celebration period.

    He was aghast and told me that he had his at home on his desk…..

    I took the opportunity to ask why, was it alright for their citizens to burn their flags .

    His rational : as the Flag represent the USA and since the US Constitution guarantee Freedom of Expression, prohibiting the burning of the Fag just would not be logical !

    I guess, that is a lesson on how or why one should not cling onto :
    All men are equal, but some men are more equal than others , no ?

    • 31 Anon BDsW 30 July 2013 at 07:28

      @ His rational : as the Flag represent the USA and since the US Constitution guarantee Freedom of Expression, prohibiting the burning of the Fag just would not be logical !

      Oh dear. Typo I hope.

      • 32 Lye Khuen Way 30 July 2013 at 20:51

        Typo error, as pointed out. Thanks.
        Then again, people do burn fag as in cigarette, no ?

  17. 33 Trasvaal 29 July 2013 at 22:25

    Alex, your article is brilliantly argued, thank you. Would it be possible to share your definition of ‘state’ and ‘country’. I can approximately make out your understanding of ‘state’ but I am unable to figure out your definition of ‘country’.

  18. 34 Harish 30 July 2013 at 00:02

    Superb article, Alex! Incisive and clear.

  19. 35 asdf 30 July 2013 at 05:06

    Stop singing national athem in school everyday. Its pointless, doesnt proof patriotism, just going through motion, students and teachers can also get more sleep, instant raise in productivity

  20. 36 Justice Bao 30 July 2013 at 08:21

    I am reminded of MP Penny Low, who was busily texting on her mobile during the national anthem at the National Day Parade, followed by an insincere and half-hearted apology, and the online witch-hunt which ensued.

  21. 37 Gazarah 30 July 2013 at 15:03

    “A country’s symbols are seldom formal; they may consist of iconic images of landscape, an immediately recognisable accent, cuisine, architecture, music or some forms of mordant humour.”

    This statement about country is extremely problematic, considering Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR are also a part of the People’s Republic of China.

  22. 39 Arthur Gow 30 July 2013 at 19:49

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

    The flag is nothing but a piece of cloth, the pledge a bunch of meaningless motherhood statements, and the national anthem a badly-composed song with lyrics I can barely understand. Don’t even get me started on nonsense like NDP, ceremonial guards for the President, guards of honor, military parades, military colors, and one of the most ridiculous, “respect the uniform” (just because some girl decided to pose in her bf’s no. 4).

    The values that we truly hold dear to, like equality, justice, freedom, sacrifice and democracy, are not meant to be recited daily like a mantra, and are certainly not found in these meaningless symbols. What’s the point of puffing up your chest to salute these symbols when all the real values have been subverted, by ourselves!

    This need to worship power symbols is no different from our propensity for hero-worshipping. Humanity would be much better off when we shed our childish need to worship heroes, heavenly or earthly. We should stop looking up to tough-talking strongmen, demagogues, holy book-waving jihadists/crusaders, and charismatic pastors. How many wars, genocides and tragedies we could have prevented!

    Guns n’ Roses put it very succinctly in their song Civil War, “Don’t trust feelings when it’s not in your hands”.

  23. 40 Thomas Pain 31 July 2013 at 07:39

    A state is a geo-political entity with a flag, a national anthem and ambassadors in foreign countries. A nation is a group of people who think they are a nation.

    If all Singaporeans think we are a nation we won;t need to bother too much with the symbols of the state.

  24. 41 CRICKET 31 July 2013 at 11:52

    Great article, Alex.

    I think most people in Singapore do not understand the difference between “state” and “country” and believe they are one and the same. Perhaps Saada-Ching is one of them, having been programmed since her childhood days in school. Pardon her for she does not know what she is saying.

    • 42 Jack 1 August 2013 at 11:59

      But there are many who are conditioned to think so. Or why would she write to forum and openly display ,with ST’s help, her ignorance?
      I still come across people who still think that without one particular person, there wouldn’t have been a Singapore today as if the country has been run a one-man show.
      Our education system and the media has played a big part in this brainwashing.

  25. 43 John 31 July 2013 at 19:13

    You can burn the flag or anything, you have the right to do so, of course what happens after that is another issue. But Alex, you are right to say that states are social constructs (I hate the term artificial construct, I will explain why later), but so are countries. You seem to have created an essentialized notion on what a country is, because even symbols for a country are ‘invented’ as Hobsbawm and Ranger would agree with me in their book, Invented Traditions.

    While the state and the country are different, both of them are social constructs and I would argue that symbols created by the state and the ‘people in the country’ (organically) are also invented and part of the invented tradition.

    That said, despite being social constructs or ‘artificial constructs’, people can have real feelings for the state and/or country, hence the reason why I dislike the term artificial construct that you used.

    Last point I would like to make, I think there is a difference between a state and a government. A government well they are the people in power. A state, strictly speaking has a functioning government, borders, citizens. If you want to resist against the state, that would entail going against the government, but also the borders and citizens. Moreover, another issue that maybe people might want to think about, you can hate the government and seek for change, but how would you achieve your aim of changing the government. Is physical resistance the ‘right’ way if there are other tools to change the government?

    PS: To Thomas Pain, ask any historian or political scientist and they will tell you nation-building is an on-going process. All states aspiring to be a nation-state does it. It is not unique to Singapore

  26. 44 John 31 July 2013 at 19:41

    oops, i realised I shoudl have substituted country for nation. IMO, there is no real difference between a country and a state, but a nation and a state, there is a difference

  27. 45 Jake 31 July 2013 at 19:59

    Might be better for us to endeavour restoring the ideals represented by the flag (assuming they were ever fully realised before) or realising them than to look for an alternative. The current flag predates the PAP’s dominance. It’s twisting of the nation’s values since then should not detract from the desirability of the original.

  28. 46 Thung Yi Tian 31 July 2013 at 23:29

    As much as I would like to agree with you, I seriously doubt that you’ve did extensive research on the true origins of our flag and it being a symbol of the state.

    Rather that relating the national flag with the state, the situation in Singapore is unique of others; the national flag was designed to be symbolic of the cultural elements and different racial identity of the peoples of Singapore. Why was the national flag created in such a design back then? The crescent moon is to be representative of the Malay(Muslim) population who are perceived as the natives of the island. The five stars are derived from the five-star red flag of New China.

    Instead of saying that the flag is a representation of the state, of a political idea, it would be more appropriate to say that the flag is actually a reflection of the mix of culture we have here in Singapore.

    Do you really think that the flag is all about creation of artificial loyalty, or about propaganda into national ideology? No. The flag, in my opinion, is the representation of the highest level of human enlightenment, the selfless unity of people sharing a single belief, idea, having a common faith. The German and French tricolour are examples of flag being representative of a nation as a whole, rather than just a symbol of the state.

    True enough, there are instances flags are mere symbols of political identity, and just something that we relate to a state and its fundamental principles, eg. the Third Reich, flag of the USSR, flag of Iran. But you have to contextualize this whole thing. Consider why the Singapore flag was design and flown in this manner.

    PS I’m not a supporter of the ruling party, nor am I one who agrees with their policies. I’m just one who is loyal to his country and people.

  29. 47 SN 31 July 2013 at 23:51

    Agree with the thrust of an earlier comment – I think you import the meaning of ‘government’ into ‘state’ too much here. ‘Country’ is a broader concept than ‘state’, the latter being strictly political in nature, but in everyday use, they are synonymous.

    With respect to the larger point – I disagree. The flag is sacred; the party/government/regime is not. Alfian should have replaced the Singaporean flag with a PAP one. That would be ballsy. (The PAP regime is responsible for the state of racial/ethinic relations in Singapore; Singapore is not).

  30. 48 Rabbit 1 August 2013 at 00:09

    It was like our currency or coins, the design can be changed over time to reflect a new meaning behind it.

  31. 49 My New Life in Asia (@aristeon84) 1 August 2013 at 00:34

    I have recently discovered your blog because it was mentioned on the South China Morning Post, and I find it a very interesting resource for knowing more about Singapore. I have never been there, and I was planning to go to visit it some day. However, after reading what happened to cartoonist Leslie Chew and to British author Shadrake, I was really shocked. A country like Singapore that has achieved such high degree of welfare and progress, should not be jailing people only because they express their view. In the West we hear a lot about what happens in the PRC, but unfortunately there is relatively little public interest in Singapore. Since I studied humanities, love to read and like to blog myself, I am very sensitive about freedom of speech.

    As to the flag, I agree that state symbols can be used and abused as instruments of power. However, I think burning a flag is quite a serious act. For example, in Italy, which is my home country, there is a political party that wants the independence of the North from the South. This party has oftentimes burnt the national flag. What they want to express is obvious: they want a new, a different state. Therefore, burning a flag can indeed be considered a subversive act, an act to destroy the state itself.

    I thus wonder if it’s a good thing for citizens who want to change Singapore to burn the flag or vilify other state symbols. In this way, they might give their opponents a reason to denounce them as subversive.

    Thanks for the great work you’re doing on your blog.

  32. 50 George Ang 1 August 2013 at 00:38

    Great article. Thanks.

  33. 51 Qwee liao 2 August 2013 at 12:03

    Ok, you demand the state to protect your right to freedom of speech, what is your duties and responsibilities in return for that right?

  34. 53 AhKao 3 August 2013 at 15:09

    Just for reference..;ident=280a9818-9661-4fed-b6cc-784463ace351;page=0;query=DocId%3A%223100849d-3555-4b06-ba59-bf4998ae34f2%22%20Status%3Ainforce%20Depth%3A0;rec=0#pr4-he-.

    “(4) (2) No person in possession of the Flag shall allow or cause the Flag to touch the floor or ground, even when lowering the Flag from a staff or flagpole.”;ident=59ae0a84-0a18-4345-89bd-4c9821500629;page=0;query=DocId%3A%223100849d-3555-4b06-ba59-bf4998ae34f2%22%20Status%3Ainforce%20Depth%3A0;rec=0#pr14-he-.

    “(4) Any person, who without reasonable excuse, contravenes rule 4 or 12 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.”

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