Chinese Flag, Anthem Obligatory for HK Schools

Local and international schools must display the regional and national flags while playing and singing the Chinese national anthem during celebrations, under new guidelines issued by the Education Bureau this week. The rules follow the introduction of the National Anthem Ordinance bill.
Chinese Flag, Anthem Obligatory for HK Schools
By Carli Allan
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All schools in Hong Kong must display the Chinese national flag and play China’s national anthem during special occasions. The Education Bureau (EDB) has laid out new guidelines for both local and international primary and secondary schools following the introduction of the National Anthem Ordinance bill earlier this month.

According to new law, all schools must display the national and regional flags and play the Chinese anthem, March of the Volunteers, at celebrations for New Year’s Day, the anniversary of the city’s handover on July 1, and National Day on October 1. The EDB has also advised schools to do the same for important events such as the first day of a school year, open days, and graduation ceremonies.

An EDB spokesman said:

“Schools should educate students about the national flag, the national anthem and the national emblem of their own country. This is part of moral, civic and national education, and helps enhance students' sense of national identity.”

New legislation came into effect in Hong Kong on June 12, which makes insulting China's national anthem a crime punishable by fines of up to HKD 50,000 or up to three years in prison. Schools that do not meet the EDB’s new guidelines have been warned that they may face a police inquiry.

The EDB added: “The spirit of the National Anthem Ordinance is to respect the national anthem, and there should not be any public and intentional acts to insult the national anthem or misuse the national anthem. All primary and secondary schools should provide opportunities for students to learn to sing the national anthem, understand its history and spirit, as well as observe the etiquette for playing and singing the national anthem.”

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