A Crash Course in “Flag”ology!

Okay this time round, I will USE this platform for communicating something personal. Yes this IS personal to me as it should be to all Pakistanis. The truth is, we’re hardly aware of what we’re doing and most of us don’t even know when we commit these mistakes. Here is an abridged list of what I observed this time on and after August 14 (not to mention its the same story every year)

1. Flags are put up on houses and buildings a few days preceding the big day and are still there, today being the 17th day of the month of August, year 2007
2. A lot of places the flag is put up BACKWARDS as in, the wrong way
3. some places the mast (or “baans” or “pole”) used is either bent or distorted in some way or another
4. I actually witnessed torn and half mutilated flags on cars
5. The smaller flags those pasted on a thick thread, ones we all love putting up at our places (jhandiyaan) are usually found lying on the floors/ grounds/ roads, before, during and after the August 14
6. We’ve got a pretty Quaid-e-Azam Portrait with one of Allama Iqbal on the White side of the flag

Okay these all seem small, petty things and by now most of you have moved on to the more interesting posts. Why would some one even want to waste their time on a post that doesn’t even have any picture? THAT my friends is for a reason, because the pictures for this posts are all around you. In your street, on the roads, try just peering out of your window, you might even find something within the premises of your own house that fits the profile of this post

Okay now the amendments we need in the list of things we do up above

1. Have you ever noticed that in older movies or rushes or any older records of a flag on the telly, there’s always a ceremony in which someone is raising a flag to its pole? Or has anyone pondered over the fact why they have that lovely ceremony at Wahga border everyday to take the flag off at sunset? They could very well leave it on can’t they? BEEEEP! NO! In the sheer respect of the flag of your country, it must not stay up on the pole after sunset or to be exact, in the dark. The second point within this one is the fact that we’re only allowed (according to the law) to put flags over civilian buildings for the day of August 14 and not the entire month. It’s sad that no one monitors this law implementation but I guess we can let them policemen go if they’re really saving lives and take care of this little detail ourselves, can’t we? :)

2. Okay now this one is almost criminal! When the flag is put up BACKWARDS, it means the country is at WAR!!!! Please be careful what way you put your flags up because you just might be declaring war (OUCH!)

3.Okay, again an issue of respecting the flag, we don’t want people to mistake that we have our flag on half mast at or independence day do we? I’m sure we’re not regretting the fact that we are an independent nation nor is it a national dilemma that we reduce our flag to half mast. The pole or mast has to be straight/ upright. We doNOT wish for our flag to be bowing down before anything or anyone!

4. Now this one is horrifying. How can you have torn and mutilated your country’s flag and still be moving around with it on your car? Again an issue of respect. Please respect the flag a wee bit more than you already do.

5. Okay from what I’ve heard, in the Armed Forces they get punished for letting the flag even touch the ground at any point. Some army man please elaborate if you may, on this. This is highly disrespectful to muss up your flags (no matter what size or material) in feet, under the cars and in the puddles.

6. Okay WHY didn’t Liaquat Ali Khan put Quaid-e-Azam’s portrait on the flag if they wanted to? PLEASE do not buy or make any such modified flags, you are not looking trendy with that mohawk boy and especially not you, the one with a mask out of the movie Scream!

The point I’m trying to make is not to be overly agitated over petty things or getting sacrilegious about YET another thing, but I went to turkey earlier last month and seeing them respect and follow all these rules about their flag really shamed me to bits how we play around with ours at August 14. It’s not about being a nagging mommy for all of you, it’s simply about being sensitive towards something that is a part of patriotism.
Okay now you may bombard me with comments, Thank You

6 Comments so far

  1. Bored (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

    Aaaanchhhooooo!!!!!!(sneezing :-).I’ve a severe flu (feel like biting someone).

  2. Adnan (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    I’ve seen a flag with missile on it.

  3. Sa'ad (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

    Good post. I commend you on putting thoughts to this subject. Like many worthy things in our society, this too has become worthless over time and has become a blind habit.

    It is horrific enough that jahils are putting pictures on the flag, writing azadi mubarik on it adding poetry to the flag, and worst of all putting missiles on them! Even PTV live had flags with “youm-e-azadi” written on them. They should know better.

    Correct information from the horse’s website:

  4. Sumbul (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

    @Adnan That is horrible, I;’ve seen one of those too!

    @Saad Thank you so much Saad for the link and the support, yes I believe its another one of those blind habits which we have ceased to feel guilty about. Its one wrong that has turned into a right over the years. People don’t even know what they’re doing is outrightly wrong so actually there’s no malice involved. Its simple ignorance

    @All The least we could do is spread this kinda info by word of mouth so go ahead, the world is yours to take!

  5. Bilal (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

    It is disturbing how lightly we take the issue of due respect for our (or any country’s) flag.

    1. I heard on FM radio on this 14 August the chattery RJ go on and on about “disposable” (plastic) jhandiyaan, the kind that do not get ruined/washed away by torrential rains. The least he could have done was called them water-proof jhandiyaan. The star and crescent should hardly be considered a disposable banner.

    2. Plenty is written every year about the impropriety of having pictures of mickey mouses, Qaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal, even Pervez Musharraf and Ghauri missiles and what not defacing the national flag. Yet we see the same practice blatantly go on year after year.

    3. The extent of commercialization is such that shops and businesses use the flag as a canvas / background for advertising their wares.

    Something needs to be done about this:

    1. I think there are laws in existence which stipulate fines / penalties in case of disrespect / abuse of national flag. These should be enforced, an example needs to be set by prosecuting at least some higher-profile offenders

    2. Sensitize the public about the need to observe propriety and due respect for the flag by media campaigns, public service messages, or even through softer subliminal methods via tv programs / dramas.

    3. Teach and familiarize kids in school about significance of and proper respect for national flag.

  6. Sumbul (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

    @Bilal very true, I completely agree with your stance. there are laws in place for the prevention of these acts but the awareness and the sense amongst the masses is yet to be awakened. We should voice our concerns using internet and social gatherings, if people can discuss politics why not this and schools and other institutes should feel responsible for pitching in.

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