Hong Kong mulls regional flag law amendment to cover both real-life and internet offenses
The HKSAR government proposed bringing the laws against insulting the regional flag and emblem in line with those pertaining to the national flag, with the desecrating behavior in both real life and over the internet outlawed.
According to government documents submitted to Legco, the proposed amendment would further preserve the dignity of and strengthen the protection of the regional flag and regional emblem.
The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance was amended in September 2021 to outlaw acts, including the desecration of the Chinese national flag and national emblem on the internet.
The government proposed to clarify further the provisions on offenses of desecrating the regional flag and regional emblem, explicitly prohibiting a person from publicly and intentionally desecrating the regional flag or regional emblem.
The actions include burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling, or trampling on them or their images or in any other way, or intentionally publishing a desecration of the regional flag or regional emblem with intent to desecrate the regional flag or regional emblem.
It also noted that the proposed amendments would enhance the protection of the regional flag and regional emblem by clarifying that the provisions on related offenses cover desecrating behavior in real life and over the internet.
The amendment will also incorporate details on the use, recovery, and disposal of the regional flag and regional emblem, outlining the etiquette for taking part in flag-raising ceremonies involving the regional flag, and require the city’s education chief to give directions for the inclusion of the regional flag and regional emblem in primary and secondary education.