BREAKING TRADITION | Duterte admin breaches flag protocol in Xi’s state visit

3 months ago

NOVEMBER 21, 2018 – A historical researcher criticized on Tuesday the reversed arrangement of the Philippine and Chinese flags during the state visit of President Xi Jinping at the Malacañang.

In his Twitter account, Eufemio Agbayani III pointed out that the Chinese flag is placed on the left (observer’s point of view) instead of right as per guidelines of the Republic Act 8491 or “The Code of the National Flag, Anthem, Motto, Coat-of-Arms and Other Heraldic Items and Devices of the Philippines.”

The reversed arrangement of the flags were spotted at the Malacañan Palace gates and during the bilateral meeting of the Philippine and Chinese officials.

Agbayani also scored the inspection of troops during the welcome ceremony for Xi. Instead of the Presidential standard, the honor guard carried the Chinese flag.

He further noted that the reversal of flags were done in the past, when a ranking Chinese officials visited the House of Representatives. Previous presidencies have followed the flag protocol, with an exception during the term of Manuel Quezon when the Philippines is a Commonwealth of the United States.

“Our government seems too concerned with pleasing the Chinese guests that they’d rather follow China’s protocol over Philippines’ protocol which we have followed ever since our independence was recognized in 1946, and perhaps even earlier,” Agbayani said.

Former Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, meanwhile, said presidents can break tradition even if they are expected to maintain it.

“It can be a dramatic statement with deep meaning, without having to say anything. In that sense 2018 is a year that marks discarding a tradition dating back to 1935,” he posted on Twitter.

Malacanang officials have yet to respond on the matter as of posting time.