For a long time now I have felt on occasion that I must glance out onto my front porch and make sure the American flag is still flying — just to reassure myself that I still live in the United States.
Some California residents recently awoke to the shock of their lives when a town decided to fly the Chinese flag above city hall. The understandably perplexed residents quickly shared their opinions about the Chinese flag above the San Leandro City Hall.
The planned Chinese flag above city hall plan was not a prank, but the result of a resolution approved by the San Leandro City Council on September 16. The California governing body voted 4-3 to raise the Chinese flag above city hall on October 1 as a show of support for a Chinese national holiday. On that date in 1949 Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China.
China may virtually own the United States due to the fiscal irresponsibility of Congress and the executive branch, but that does not make it OK to fly anything but the stars and stripes in this country, critics said.
The proposal came from San Leandro council member Benny Lee. The local official said he made the requests as a “sing of support for local Chinese residents and as a sign the city is open for Chinese business and investment.”
Patriotic Americans were not the only ones infuriated about the prospect of a Chinese flag adorning a California public building. Human rights activists took exception to honoring the Chinese national holiday as well.
“[The flag] represents blood, blood of Tibetans, Uighurs, and the Chinese people who’ve been killed and massacred by the Chinese government,” said Kunjo Tashi, president of the Tibetan Association of Northern California.
Tibetan refugee Tsering Dolkar shares Tashi’s sentiments. She and her parents fled Tibet. She said it’s sad to see a nation which has given her so much honor a country which has taken “everything” from her and others former citizens now living in exile.
The flag also represents millions of forced abortions that have been utilized to enforce the country’s one-child policy. All total, since 1971, there have been 330 million abortions in China – a number greater than the population of the United States.
San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy’s office was deluged with phone calls after the vote to fly the Chinese flag passed. Cassidy decided he must step in and overrule his council.
The San Leandro mayor said, “San Leandro does not fly the flags of other nations at our city hall. We need to call a time out and allow the community to weigh in or on whether or not we should raise the flags of other governments.”
As astounding as the San Leandro Chinese flag story is, it is not the first time that a city has opted to fly that nation’s flag on October 1 in honor of the formation of the People’s Republic. The cities of Alameda, Oakland and San Francisco not only approved such a measure, they actually hoisted the red flag.
Proper flag etiquette states that no flag should be in a “position of prominence or honor” above the American flag. Perhaps the age-old directions need to be amended to make sure everyone understands that replacing the US flag with that of another country is never acceptable, appropriate or wise.