A banner advertising a Canadian flag at a Canadian embassy in Manila has sparked outrage and a public spat over whether it’s too disrespectful to the flag.
The banner, posted in English on Thursday by a Canadian diplomat, says the flag is “a symbol of freedom and democracy” and “a beacon of hope and inspiration.”
The embassy said it was the first time a Canadian banner had been posted in Manila.
“We are disappointed that the flag of Canada has been appropriated by someone who is not of our nation,” the embassy wrote in a statement.
“The Canadian flag is a symbol of liberty and democracy and should be respected.”
The Manila flag is displayed at the main plaza in the Philippine capital Manila, Philippines on March 21, 2018.
(Bartolomeo M. Casares/Associated Press)The diplomat’s message, posted to the official Facebook page of the Canadian embassy, was accompanied by a picture of the flag and captioned: “Canada will be a strong and vibrant nation that supports its neighbours and defends its values.
The Canadian government does not tolerate any discrimination based on religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability.”
It’s the first instance of a Canadian government flag being used in the Philippines, said the diplomat, who declined to give his name.
“I feel insulted,” said the embassy’s Philippines director, Pedro Rangel.
“How could they have done that?”
The flag is not allowed in Canada, where the national anthem is sung at Parliament Hill, and was even prohibited from being displayed in other countries.
The embassy, in a Facebook post, also said it has asked Philippine authorities to “immediately remove” the banner.
“Canadian Embassy Manila welcomes your warm support, and is committed to the protection of our flag and the people who have served and sacrificed to uphold it,” the post said.
“This flag was first posted to us in 2015 and we were the first to use it.”
Rangel said the Manila flag has been displayed at Canadian embassies in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The Filipino flag was introduced to the Philippines in 1982 and has been used in many other countries including the United States and Israel, he said.
He said the flag’s use is not a matter of disrespect.
“It is a sign of our shared values of democracy and freedom.
It has a very positive meaning,” Rangel told The Associated Press on Thursday.
“People are very upset.”
In a statement, the Philippines Foreign Ministry called the banner “sad and inappropriate” and urged Canadian officials to “exercise greater restraint in their use of their country’s national emblem.”
It added that the use of the national flag is protected under the country’s constitution.
The Philippines flag is currently displayed at Parliament House in Manila, a main plaza at the city’s main international airport.
(Manila Times via AP)Philippine Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario told reporters the Philippines had already banned the use or promotion of the Philippine flag.
“When you go to a country, you should use the flag that you are given by your country, not to try to copy it or to take the flag from another country,” Del Rosario said.
The Philippine flag has a long history in the country and was the symbol of independence from Spain in 1898.
The country was then under British rule and the British Empire in the mid-19th century.
In 1945, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution recognizing the independence of the Philippines.
The resolution was adopted by a vote of 11-3.
The U.N. resolution was reaffirmed by the Security Council in 1964 and has served as the basis for a number of U.S.-led international treaties.