Sunday, June 11, 2006
MLQ has written a more scholarly and authoritative piece about this in a recent PDI column, but I just can not help but add my personal outrage over the way the national flag is being brazenly desecrated in our thoroughfares today.
I was driving along Taft Avenue in Manila this morning and was extremely horrified at the extent to which the Philippine flag has been so desecrated by the City of Manila. I have never ever seen such brazen and wanton disrespect for our national symbol! All along the length of Taft Avenue today, flags are carelessly and haphazardly nailed on the concrete posts that support the LRT. In some cases, the flag is not even nailed but pierced through on all four corners with metal wires and spread like an ordinary streamer. And many of the flags were directly exposed to rain - picture the combination of rainwater, pollution, exhaust, etc., and you can imagine the grimy state of the flags.
It seems that the only consideration made by whoever was responsible for this abominable deed has been to simply put up the flags, period. The people who put them up must be cross-eyed (most of the flags are skewed and slanted, some are twisted) and aesthetic morons (some of the flags are not even displayed symmetrically on the posts, they are off-center and parts of the flag extend beyond the concrete).
Where did this people get their basic education? I am sure that every school in this country holds a flag ceremony at least once a week where the flag is hoisted up in a solemn ceremony and where everyone eventually pledges allegiance to the flag. I am sure that civics classes still teach how the flag should be handled - and we all know it should never ever be nailed or pierced through with metal wires. Not only does this indicate extreme waste of taxpayers' money (each flag must cost more than a poor family's meal) but more importantly, it betrays utter lack of nationalism.
I am told that the disrespect extends all the way up to the borders of Kalookan and Pasay and that there is a Philippine flag on each LRT post.
I just can not fathom how any self-respecting government official can stand such a pitiful and shameless sight. These people do not deserve to be called Filipinos. I was so angry and insulted I felt like stoning the Manila City Hall for having such a low regard for this country's main symbol of pride and identity.
(The pictures were taken using my cellphone while driving along Taft Avenue. There were more flags in more pitiful state, but I was in a moving vehicle so I could only take pictures of the ones close to an intersection during a red light).