I have never in my life had the urge to hang the national flag outside my home and be a part those of think that patriotism is proven with a pieces of symmetrically lined up cloths hanging on buildings. Such representations are somewhat of an oxymoron ni current times, and even more so hypocritical; flags, fireworks, and a full parade is emphasized over a fair and just, and transparent leadership.
Well, be it as it may, a building covered in red-white patches is ubiquitous come August every year. For those who wants to demonstrate patriotism through such means, so be it – they are free to do so. It’s their property anyway, and they can hang their undergarments to prove how not insecure they are, for all I care.
But freedom of expression is hardly a one-way street; and so I take issue with those who compel you to hang the flag. The corridor is arguably a common area that these patriots can peruse as well, but when a coveted wall can only be accessed through my home, too bad then.
You see, every year there’s this group of aunties who persistently knock on doors to ensure that a flag is hung outside the bedroom window. I relented in the past, due to combination of their persistence and on my part, the insistence of some peace and quiet. This year however, I think I have the upper hand. Ramadan is here, I’ll be at work during the day, and at night (hopefully) praying at the mosque. So their incessant knocking won’t be answered by anyone.
But I know they’ve been knocking, evident by the brand-new packaged flag found at my doorstep after work one day.Which brings me to another point: wastage. I am not the only one in Singapore who receives a brand new flag every year. And I still have those from yesteryears folded in some nook in my storeroom. How much are they spending on this? These people should know that it is not important for every single house to be furnished with a flag.
Also with the onslaught of foreigners in my country, seems these days anyone can be a Singaporean. As many others who are born here, I sometimes feel that I’m a foreigner in my own country. And as long as the politicians think that profit from cheap foreign labor can compensate for nation building, methinks the country is betraying its people for money.
So, in the spirit of Ramadan, I will avoid wastage, be truthful to myself, and put my flags up – for sale.