Schools in HK host national flag-raising ceremony on New Year's Day to enhance national identity, patriotism
Published: Jan 02, 2022 02:21 PM
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) holds a flag-raising ceremony on Jan 1, 2022. Photo: CFP

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) holds a flag-raising ceremony on Jan 1, 2022. Photo: CFP

Schools and universities in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), including the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which was once embroiled in violent protests by rioters during the 2019 turmoil, held national flag-raising ceremonies on the first day of 2022, as part of the implementation of a series of regulations after the chaos seen in the city two years ago which officials and school leaders believe could strengthen national identity and social unity.

On January 1, a grand flag-raising ceremony was held at the PolyU campus to welcome the New Year, which was attended by more than 500 teachers and students to wish for the prosperity of the country and the city, according to the official website of the university.

Wang Songmiao, Secretary-General of the Central Government's Liaison Office in HKSAR, was invited to the ceremony. He said that Hong Kong has achieved a significant transition of chaos to governance, and people expect this new beginning to lead to the continued prosperity of the city.

"On the first morning of 2022, being able to witness the national flag fluttering in the wind on campus with the teachers and students of PolyU, had us all excited," Wang said, adding that as long as Hong Kong and the mainland continue in the same direction, Chinese culture will surely resonate in harmony. 

Teng Jin-guang, the president of PolyU, said that the school has always been committed to cultivating outstanding professionals and social leaders in patriotism, with a global vision, and a sense of social responsibility. 

According to Teng, as from this year onward, PolyU will have the national flag hanging on campus every day, and hold flag-raising ceremonies on important dates and every Monday morning. Administrators, teachers, and employees of PolyU will attend the ceremonies to deepen the staff and students' national concept and sense of belonging in the country.

In the 2019 turmoil, PolyU was severely impacted by rioting protesters who blockaded the school for 13 days. Afterward, Hong Kong police seized 3,989 petrol bombs, 1,339 explosives, 601 corrosive liquids, and 573 weapons on campus. In the riot, around 800 people turned  themselves in to authorities, including 300 who were 18 years old or younger.

Aside from PolyU, schools in Hong Kong such as the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University also held flag-raising ceremonies, media outlets reported.

The National Flag and National Emblem (Amendment) Ordinance came into effect in October 2021, stipulating that the Secretary for Education must instruct specified schools in matters related to the daily display of the national flag and a weekly raising of the flag. 

Wang Mao, a high school teacher in Hong Kong, said that in her school, there has been a tradition of raising national flags every week and at big events such as sporting events. "In the New Year we will follow this tradition. It is for the strengthening of national identity and patriotism among students," she told the Global Times.

Yeung Yun-hung, Secretary for Education, posted on Facebook that schools in Hong Kong raising national flags on the first day of the New Year brought new vitality to campuses. He said that the national flags will strengthen people's centripetal force.

Global Times