For 140 years (1819-1959), the Union Jack flew over Singapore. Then, on 3 December 1959, the National Flag, an important symbol of independence, was unveiled at the installation of the new Head of State, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara. Also unveiled that day were the State Crest and the National Anthem. The flag was conceived and created by a committee headed by the then Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Toh Chin Chye.
The Flag consists of two horizontal halves, red above white. Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of men; white, purity and virtue. In the upper left corner, a white crescent moon and five white stars form a circle. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise. The five stars stand for Singapore's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
Now is as good a time as any other to remember the Singapore flag. Our flag. I am a Singaporean everyday, not just on National Day.
October 2006, Singapore.
40 odd years on after the unveiling of the Singapore flag.
Red sumbolises the universal brotherhood and equality of men (should be changed to include women and sisterhood also?) : so why is there apparent age, gender and sometimes racial (more linguistic) discrimination in employment in Singapore, or can this 'discrimination' be attributed to economic requirements? Does the General Household Survey hold some clues?
White symbolises purity and virtue. Who can argue with that but why do we need purity and in what regard to we need purity when Singaporeans are a self-proclaimed pragmatic lot who will do what it takes? I'm not so sure about virtue when one is lining up for stuff in Singapore. This quality of 'virtue' may also hang in the balance on a Thai court's proceedings in the near future unless they are somehow magically 'shushed up'.
The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise. Are we still on the rise when most of the rest of the world considers Singapore a developed nation? Should we consider installing a nearly full moon now?
The five stars stand for the ideals of:
Democracy, so we conduct elections within a given time limit but why do so many citizens feel it as a chore instead of a nation building process?;
Peace, we are certainly not at war but according to the happiness index we are far from being at peace as a nation, why is this so?;
Progress, we have indeed come very far from the backwater days but wither the social price?;
Justice, any comment other then in praise might be tantamount to contempt so let's leave it be for now;
Equality, what of 'changing demograhics' where there are now people of different political, social, sexual orientations and preferences? Is there equality for them?
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