Stomp finds out whether it is illegal to display national flags of other countries in public

Submitted by Stomper Fellowman

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Is it illegal to display another country's national flag in public spaces? 

Stomper Fellowman saw a national flag of China that was displayed at Block 489B Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 on Monday morning (August 5).

She wondered if it was illegal and shared photos of what she saw with Stomp.

According to the Singapore Statutes, the National Emblems (Control of Display) Act states that displaying any flag or national emblem that is not of Singapore in public is considered an offence.

An emblem is considered as being displayed in public when it is visible to members of the public.  

If convicted of the offence, the person could face a fine of up to $500 and/or a jail term of up to six months.

Exceptions to the Act include diplomatic representatives of a foreign power to Singapore, where authorisation has been granted by the government, and on ships and aircrafts. 

There are also certain rules to adhere to when displaying Singapore's National Flag. 

The National Heritage Board says:

  • When the Flag is displayed outside a building, it shall be displayed on or in front of the building.
  • Outside National Day celebrations period (July 1 to September 30), the Flag must be flown only from a flagpole, and if it is displayed or flown at night, it should be properly illuminated.
  • Within Singapore, the Flag should take precedence over all other flags. When displayed or flown with another flag, it must be in a position of honour -- either above all other flags or to the left of the other flags, as seen by a person facing the flags.
  • The Flag should be cleaned when dirty and replaced if it has faded. After any washing, it should not be hung out to dry with other laundry.
  • Any worn-out or damaged Flag should be packed into a sealed black trash bag before being disposed of properly, and not left visible in dustbins.