Liang Fan’s Reverence for the Chinese National Flag

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Chinese Culture
Tags: ,

This week President Hu Jintao touched millions of his compatriots by pulling a sticker off his shoe. At a G-20 photo-op, he and all the world leaders had a small sticker of their national flag on the floor marking where they should stand. As they were leaving, the Chinese flag sticker got stuck to Hu’s shoe, so he bent down to pick it up. The story reported in the Chinese blogosphere and media, however, was that Hu so revered the Chinese flag that he felt compelled to respectfully and gingerly bend down to save it as the other world leaders coldly discarded theirs.

“I am deeply touched and proud of being a Chinese,” People’s Daily reported one netizen saying about Hu’s bending over two feet to the ground, as China’s first female astronaut continued orbiting hundreds of miles overhead unnoticed.

The fawning over this incident reminded me of this lesson that Chinese children are taught in school. Perhaps there’s a connection:

In 1990, UNICEF invited Beijing middle school students to visit the Netherlands in order to participate in “Children of the World for Peace” activities. Liang Fan flew to the Netherlands to represent Chinese children. She stayed in a comfortable hotel and met many little brothers and sisters from all around the world. It was a very happy time!

As the activities began, banners of more than 50 countries were raised in front of the hotel.  Liang Fan looked for the Chinese flag, but couldn’t find it. So Liang Fan immediately went to the organizer and solemnly demanded, “The Chinese national flag must be raised since I’m here representing China.”

Later, it was almost lunch time and the Chinese flag still hadn’t been raised yet. So Liang Fan brought the organizer to the table, pointed at the pink tablecloth, and said, “If you cannot find a Chinese national flag, it’s ok. I am going to paint this red and make it into a flag!” Liang Fan’s patriotism touched the organizer deeply and the news spread quickly, which caught the organizing committee’s attention. They ordered somebody to find a national flag for the People’s Republic of China and raise it in front of the hotel. Liang Fan was admired by representatives from the other countries who praised her as a qualified representative of the People’s Republic of China.

What can we learn from this?

  1. Hu never gives interviews to journalists so we just have to guess why he did that. He is certainly a nationalist in his writings. His January 2012 article in Qiushi repeated the paranoid idea that foreign countries are trying to overthrow the Party on the cultural battlefield.And he famously told us in 2003 that China should learn from North Korea, which is “always ideologically correct”.

  2. foarp says:

    “What can we learn from this?”

    Actually it’s fair enough that the Chinese flag should be flow at an event that the Chinese are attending if every other group’s flags are being flown. The ‘Hu Ge’ story, though, is pure spin.

  3. justrecently says:

    What can we learn from this?

    We can learn from this that the CCP founding fathers attended sunday school before becoming communists. And that even after generations, they still haven’t grown up.

  4. Ah Q says:

    There is no greater act of patriotism than bending down to pull gum off your shoe and discovering it’s a plastic flag.

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