No to flag displays at homes on Sun, okay to carry it at funeral procession: Lawrence Wong

SINGAPORE - It's no go for a call to allow Singaporeans to display the national flag in front of their homes on Sunday, when the state funeral of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew is held.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, has turned down the suggestion from a group of young grassroots volunteers from East Coast GRC.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Mr Wong said the decision was taken following feedback that the gesture, usually associated with National Day celebrations, "may not be the right tone for the day of the state funeral".

Guidelines on the National Heritage Board's website note that outside the National Day period from July 1 to Sept 30, the flag must be flown from a flagpole. And if it is displayed or flown at night, it should be properly illuminated.


This guideline will apply on Sunday but those who would like to fly the flag at Mr Lee's funeral are encouraged to carry it along the procession route, Mr Wong said. This is already allowed under current rules, he added.

Mr Wong commended the spirit of the grassroots volunteers. "I think it's very good to have such ground-up initiatives, and I strongly encourage this spirit of expression to pay tribute to Mr Lee," he said.

"At the same time, I've received feedback from several members of the public that having flags displayed all over our HDB blocks may not be the right tone for the day of the state funeral," he added.

As for whether to wear black or white on Sunday - a matter of some discussion online - Mr Wong said: "We all express our emotions in different ways. And we all want to say our final farewells to a great man in our own ways.

"So I encourage Singaporeans to be inclusive and embrace these different actions. Amidst our diversity, let us all come together as one to honour Mr Lee's spirit and legacy," he added.

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