Chinese people all over the world were greatly angered to see Hong Kong rioters desecrate the national flag yet again on Sunday, when they removed one from its pole in front of the Sha Tin Town Hall, trampled on it and threw it into the nearby Shing Mun River. This outrageous act is further evidence the ongoing, often violent “black revolution” is anti-China in nature. This reminded the city of the urgent need to emphasize moral and national education in school.
The national flag of the People’s Republic of China is a symbol of the country’s sovereignty and therefore protected against any form of desecration by the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which was promulgated in accordance with the Basic Law. What rioters did to the national flag over the past weekend, and during many previous protests, is a blatant violation of the law. And some perpetrators have actually been arrested for such actions.
Not only is it illegal, insulting the national flag of one’s own country is, more importantly, morally wrong. Those who do it are no doubt hostile to the Chinese mainland. Apart from foreign provocation, that animosity comes from a lack of patriotism among youngsters in the city, which we could sadly see from local surveys showing many of them not considering themselves Chinese.
Patriotic sentiment must be nurtured at an early age. It is therefore alarming that some local schools in Hong Kong, for fear of trouble, plan to cancel the national flag-raising ceremony on National Day. Although Oct 1 is a public holiday, many schools hold the ceremony as part of a patriotic tradition. It is one of the most appropriate occasions to imbue students with a sense of belonging to the nation. That is why the Education Bureau has issued a statement urging schools not to cancel national flag-raising ceremonies.
Given that many of the radical protesters belong to the younger generation, many of whom actually come straight out of the classroom onto the streets, it is even more necessary to educate students about patriotism and fight against attempts to sow the seeds of anti-mainland and even separatist sentiments on campus.
In the long run, school curricula must be thoroughly revamped, with the subject of liberal studies revised and national education introduced. We do not want to see any more of our young people insulting their country because our schools failed to do their part.
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