S'pore flag treated like 'piece of rag' at foreign music festival, defaced in group photo at male pageant, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

S'pore flag treated like 'piece of rag' at foreign music festival, defaced in group photo at male pageant

This article is more than 12 months old

The Singapore flag is our national symbol and should be treated with respect.

But two recent incidents suggest that this may not always be the case.

Stomper Ger found it unacceptable that some National University of Singapore (NUS) students in the Netherlands were treating the flag "like a piece of rag" at a music festival.

He said: "I came across an Instagram account that shows the misconduct by a group of NUS students. I believe they are currently on an exchange programme in Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

"They were seen partying in a music festival with the Singapore flag, which I think is illegal and reflects the poor conduct of the NUS students and Singaporeans in general.

"The students can have their fun, but treating the Singapore flag like a piece of rag is totally unacceptable."

A video that the Stomper shared shows people at a club jumping and chanting to the dance beat, and waving the Singapore flag above their heads until it was torn.

A Singapore flag was also misused in a group photo taken at what appears to be a wedding reception.

In the photo, Mister Singapore Sean Nicholas Sutiono was posing with nine other people and holding a flag with the words "Mister International" across the middle and about 40 signatures scrawled on the bottom white half of the flag

The photo was shared on Reddit on Tuesday (Nov 1) with the title: "Err, is this for real?"

While netizens acknowledged that defacing the flag is illegal, many thought it was not a big issue.

In August, the National Symbols Bill was introduced to replace the existing Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem (Safna) Act, reported The Straits Times.

Among other changes, the Bill provides for harsher penalties for the misuse of national symbols as offenders may be fined up to $30,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both.

Under the Safna Act, the current penalty is a fine of up to $1,000.

The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth added that the new penalty is similar to existing penalties for defacing a national monument under the Preservation of Monuments Act 2009.