The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Wednesday that the National Flag and National Emblem (Amendment) Bill 2021 will be gazetted on Aug. 13 and introduced to the Legislative Council for first and second readings on Aug. 18.
A spokesman for the HKSAR government said that the bill aims to make clear the requirements in respect of the use of the national flag and the national emblem, including the etiquette to be followed in a flag-raising ceremony and the recovery mechanism, to clarify the provisions relating to offenses of desecration of the national flag and the national emblem, and to provide for education on and promotion of the national flag and the national emblem.
In October 2020, the 22nd session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) endorsed the amendments to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the National Flag and the Law of the People's Republic of China on the National Emblem, which came into force on Jan. 1, 2021.
Through the enactment of the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance (NFNEO) in July 1997, the national flag law and the national emblem law had been applied locally by legislation. In light of the recent amendments to the two national laws by the NPC Standing Committee, the HKSAR has the constitutional responsibility to implement the two amended national laws locally, the HKSAR government said.
The legislative principle of the bill is to reflect the provisions, principles and spirit of the amended national flag law and the amended national emblem law and safeguard the proper use and preserve the dignity of the national flag and the national emblem.
These are the symbols and signs of the country, so as to promote respect for the national flag and the national emblem, enhance the sense of national identity among Hong Kong people and promote patriotism, whilst taking into account the common law system and actual circumstances in Hong Kong, the spokesman said.