Why Seattle’s City Council Should Absolutely Recognize the Heritage and Freedom Flag

Flags of the U.S. and South VietnamPhoto via Mark Boster/TPN

It’s been brought to my attention that the city of Seattle’s City Council is currently in a vote on whether to recognize South Vietnam’s “Heritage and Freedom Flag” as the official flag of the Vietnamese community there. Although sources indicate that the vote was slated for earlier this week on Monday, I have yet to hear the outcome, and thus feel the need to express my position on the matter as well.

I’m sure I am not alone in saying that recognizing the yellow flag is a fantastic idea that makes absolute and perfect sense. For those who truly understand the story of that flag, one will know why it resonates so dearly in the hearts of Vietnamese-Americans, and why, after 40 years, it still stands as their flag of choice.

For Vietnamese people overseas, the Heritage and Freedom Flag is a symbol of freedom, democracy, and independence. It is living proof that for a time, if only a short time, there existed a Vietnamese nation that was independent, proud, and free.

Without getting into the historical debate, I will skip straight to the point: Anyone who lived under the regime of the Republic of Vietnam knows that it was a democracy, a strong and independent nation, a place that they truly called home. South Vietnam was a prosperous nation, with a great education system, a strong economy, basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, and one that defended its territory and people from the aggression of North Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China.

When Saigon fell in April of 1975, that proud nation of South Vietnam ceased to exist, sparking a massive exodus of Vietnamese refugees from the country. In all, more then two million people would flee from Vietnam under communist rule, with the dangerous and open seas being their primary means of escape. Some refugees fled by land through Cambodia to refugee camps in Thailand. Many runaways perished on this treacherous route at the hands of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Of the more than two million seafaring escapees, 250,000 lost their lives at sea from piracy and the elements. These perilous journeys were traveled all in search of freedom.

This Heritage and Freedom Flag, the yellow with three horizontal red stripes, not only represents the former Republic of Vietnam and its ideals of freedom and democracy, it also represents that harrowing journey made by the fallen nation’s refugees in their search for freedom. The flag is significant, not only as a piece of history, but also as a commemoration of the struggle that the people of Vietnam endured in order to find their freedom.

That yellow flag is a symbol of freedom, democracy, and independence. It is also a symbol of courage, determination, and persistence. This flag has come to represent the identity of all freedom-loving Vietnamese peoples, not just in the United States, but in liberal democracies all across the world. It is the flag that they themselves have chosen, it is the flag that they love, and it is the flag that they stand by.

This is why it is important that we support Seattle’s recognition of this flag, and urge the City Council to pass this resolution.

Your voice matters, people. Make it heard.

 

4 Responses to “Why Seattle’s City Council Should Absolutely Recognize the Heritage and Freedom Flag”

  1. “Anyone who lived under the regime of the Republic of Vietnam knows that it was a democracy”

    My family lived under that regime and we do not share your naïve assessment of it nor we care for that flag. Thankfully none of us ended up in the regime’s tiger cages but many of our countrymen and women were not so lucky.

    • “Anyone who lived under the regime of the Republic of Vietnam knows that it was a democracy”

      My family lived under that regime and we do not share your naïve assessment of it nor we care for that flag. Thankfully none of us ended up in the regime’s tiger cages but many of our countrymen and women were not so lucky.”

      Your statement does not only show your shallow understanding of what democracy is, but also demonstrate that you have problem reading understanding what the author is saying.

      For example:
      A democracy has its infantry and maturity. What state of democracy and how people execute it does not mean it’s not a democracy. Did the author say that the Republic of Vietnam is the most democratic gov. in the World?

      “the regime’s tiger cages” is nothing but a Communist’s propaganda referring to “solitary confinement” in jail for people who broke jail’s rules. Hanoi’s Hilton also had those for Americans’ pow, which’s against international law.
      How about those “re-education camps” **AFTER** the war that made hundreds of thousands people disappear without trials? Yes, it’s cruel and inhuman but it’s irrelevant to “democracy” the author is writing here.

      • Tiger cages aren’t just propaganda, they were real. Communist torture in the Hanoi Hilton and all of their prisons is also real. My family aren’t fans of the so-called ‘re-education’ camps that were set up after the war’s end and they fled the country afterward too.

        The difference between is this: I don’t believe in falsifying or erasing parts of Vietnamese history to try to prove ‘my side’ was ‘better’ or that the ‘other side’ was ‘evil.’

        I also don’t go around saying I speak on behalf of other Vietnamese people, especially entire groups. You don’t speak for me and I don’t speak for you.

  2. RDS,

    There is a big difference in use of tiger cages between RVN and VC. The government of RVN used tiger cages for terrorists while the VC government for victims of injustice and human rights activists. You tried to ignore these facts, did you not?

    I will tell you in the following why I embrace the Yellow Flag:

    1 The Government of RVN stood up with dignify to defend the country, to protect her citizens while the government of Red flag cowardly stooped down to their knees to chinese (look at Trong Sang, Manh, Phieu, Linh, Muoi, Thanh and many communist leaders behaved when met the chinese).

    2 Chinese pirates did not dare to kill and rob Vietnamese fishermen when the government of RVN was in control, while these have been widespread under the CV government. What the government of Red flag did? Nothing. They did not even dare to name the Chinese culprits. Oh, VC called that “tau la”.

    3 There were some corruption under the government of RVN, but under the VC government the corruption has been widespread and they even promoted; and it is at the level not curable.

    4 There has not been any government over the world that carried out human trafficking but the government of Red flag has. The VC government has sold their citizens to foreigners for labor and sex slaves. Don’t tell me you don’t know this. These had never happened under the control of the government of Yellow Flag.

    5 Security of the country and prosperity of the Vietnamese people was the top priority of the government of the Yellow flag, while these are not important to the Red Flag government. What do you call such a government.

    I know in the 1980s some boat people in Hong King refugee camps called themselves political refugees but they celebrated HCM’s birthday and the September 2 day of VC government. My opinion is this is dishonesty of these people.

    After all I embrace the Yellow Flag because it reminds me where I came from and the reason I am here. There are many more reasons to promote and embrace the Yellow Flag and the above noted information is more than enough to convince me. Please do not think I try to convince you.

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