Friday, January 1, 2010

How's "Basic Law" Workin' Out for Hong Kongers? Flag Pic Says It All

This is one of a series of photos shared via Twitter from demonstrations in Hong Kong on January 1, 2010. The images were aggregated with the term #0101hk.

It took me a a minute to put two and two together when I saw this image:

"No 'Red' Fascism!"
Composite flag - Hong Kong Protests, January, 2010

(Sourced from: “RT @ranyunfei: RT @28481k: No to the Red Fascist! RT @bachlau #0101hk ..... - @yujiashi)

The clear reference is the Nazi flag:

Nazi flag - featuring iconic 4-armed swastika symbol

But it also builds on the Hong Kong flag -- that is, the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) following its 1997 handover to China:

Hong Kong flag - featuring 5-petal bauhinia flower [Hong Kong orchid]

Wikipedia describes the symbolism of the Hong Kong flag: "The regional flag carries a design of five bauhinia petals, each with a star in the middle, on a red background. The red flag represents the motherland and the bauhinia represents Hong Kong. The design implies that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China and prospers in the embrace of the motherland. The five stars on the flower symbolize the fact that all Hong Kong compatriots love their motherland, while the red and white colours embody the principle of "one country, two systems."

(For a full set of images from 01/01/10 in Hong Kong, see:

See Visual Imagery of Hong Kong Protests Jan 1 2010

Other related posts

Can you think of a concrete symbol of a social protest movement that has gained as much traction?

(See HONG KONG'S UMBRELLA: An Icon for the Ages )

"There's one thing you don't understand," he said. "What you are calling 'the best and the brightest,' the leaders in China call 'troublemakers.; A hundred thousand Ph.D.'s stay behind in the U.S.? Two hundred thousand? A million? Fine! Let them! There's more where that came from! China's got nothing if not people!"

(See Why Beijing Always "Wins")

Despite the difficulties associated with engaging in effective solidarity with dissidents in China, it is important to make the effort. A fundamental tenet of all peace and justice activism is that if we have the power to speak we can do anything, and if "they" succeed in shutting us up, it's the beginning of the end.

(See What is the US Peace and Justice Movement Doing for Dissidents in China?)

"How can it be that no one is speaking directly to what happened?" I wondered. "Should I say something? Is it just me? Can it be possible that most people aren't like me, tremendously troubled by how we should respond to what has happened in China?"

(See Remember June 4)