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Myanmar's new flag and new name

Written by Mong Palatino On 26 October 2010 @ 19:39 pm | 28 Comments

In East Asia, English, Feature, Myanmar (Burma), Politics, Weblog

Myanmar's new flag was unveiled for the first time last week. According to a pro-government media site, the event [1] was held at the State Peace and Development Council Office and was attended by Prime Minister U Thein Sein.

Independent media group The Irrawaddy provides more information [2] about the new flag

The new flag, designated in the 2008 Constitution, has a central star set against a yellow, green and red background.

The old flags will be lowered by government department officials who were born on a Tuesday, while the new flags will be raised by officials born on a Wednesday.

One million flags have been made by textile factories, according to sources within the Ministry of Defence.

The green color of the flag officially represents peace, yellow solidarity, and red valour. Myanmar also has a new name: It is now officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It was previously known as the Union of Myanmar.

What are the reactions of Myanmar netizens? dawn_1o9 [3] doesn’t like the new flag

Just received news that our country's flag has changed officially. And I say this here, and I say it loud: I DON'T LIKE THE NEW FLAG!!!

I feel no patriotism when I see this. And the color scheme is the same as Lithuanian flag minus the star, though the hue is different.

I am not the only one who feels like this though. Many are outraged. Personally, I feel like it is an insult.

“looks like a cheap amateurish crap that came out from MS Paint” – my friend's words: not mine.

This is the old flag. Blue stands for peace and stability, red stands for courage and bravery, 14 stars for the 14 states and divisions, the pinion stands for the work force of the country, and the rice stalk stands for the farmers in the country. I love this flag, and it will always be the flag of my country, no matter how much they change it

An interesting conversation in her blog about the topic

awoolham: Yellow stands for than shwe (author’s note: the leader of Myanmar), green stands for cash, red stands for blood of the people.

ei_angel: What the!!…They can't change it yet. Man I hate that flag. Looks like Ethiopian flag or Ghana flag. So the name has changed to RUM (Republic of the Union of MM) too? I thought it would only be changed after all the 7 step has taken place. And that's after the parliament's been called.

dawn_1o9: @cafengocmy – It looks like a lot of African nation's flags too. With the flag before, Taiwan was the only country whose flag looked like ours. Now, it's about 3 or 4 flags: Ghana, Ethiopia, Lithuania, etc.

awoolham: so good at plagiarism, including copying flags. Maybe the inspiration came from one of the drawings of the grandchildren who was testing the crayons. Just a thought.

The commenter’s reaction about the premature unveiling of the flag was the same sentiment of the opposition. The flag is supposed to be released only after the conduct of the November 7 elections. The opposition accuses the Myanmar military leaders of violating their own constitution. Min Lwin [4] of the Democratic Voice of Burma adds more information

According to opposition politicians, Burmese law states that the 2008 constitution must come into force before any new flag is raised. This shouldn’t happen until after the controversial 7 November elections.

Myanmar's old flag

Yu Yu Din [5], another blogger from Myanmar, is disappointed with the new flag

All the old flags will be burnt. My guess is, the government is so anti-American that even having the same colors, albeit having socialist ideals, isn't going to work.

And in a couple of weeks, we will be voting. Some of us, for the first time in our lives. I voted two years ago at the consulate in Kolkata for the new constitution, in my late 20s, after growing up mostly in democratic countries.

Who will win? The government of course. Now that they're all civilians — emperors in new clothes, with their new flag. They're going to have the country, too, one way or another. No matter what the people say, do, or think let alone the rest of the world. It doesn't matter what I write here or what you comment, tweet, or who you share this with.

At the comment section of The Irrawaddy, the conversation continues about the new flag

yarzar: Than Shwe run out of idea.
The new flag is look like exactly the same as the Shan State flag apart from the star instead of white circle inside.
What a shame Than Shwe copied another flag.

Trev: I like the new flag: party time!
Clever move by the junta. It'll look great on T-shirts if tourism ever takes off, and who can really be angry with laid-back rastafarians?
But is the Irrawaddy going to recognise it? Or will “Burma” retain its flag as it fights to stay afloat in the march of history?

Indre: I'm sorry, but why did the government snatch Lithuania's national flag (yellow, green and red) and crossed it so curiously with Vietnam's (star in the center)?

Chindits: This flag does not represent the country at all. A star?? You know That big white star is also the only star on the colors of Myanmar's tatmadaw, navy, air force and police force. This flag represent only the armed forces.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/10/26/myanmars-new-flag-and-new-name/

URLs in this post:

[1] event: http://www.myanmar.com/newspaper/nlm/index.html

[2] more information: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=19787

[3] dawn_1o9: http://dawn-1o9.xanga.com/734372390/new-flag-of-myanmar-fail/

[4] Min Lwin: http://www.dvb.no/news/cries-of-foul-play-as-new-burma-is-hoisted/12375

[5] Yu Yu Din: http://yuyudin.blogspot.com/2010/10/rebranding-burma_7629.html

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