Respect the National Flag

  • 20 April 2010

National flag is one of the most important symbols for any country. All nations show keenness in honoring their flag, position it at the most prominent places and prevent it from being abused or misused. It is an emblem behind which all nations line up, both in their respective countries and abroad, and beneath which they like celebrating their accomplishments in political, economic, sporting, cultural and other fields. In addition to being a national symbol, the flag also reflects a country’s identity and personality through its form and color. So in way, honoring the flag is a tribute to the national identity and its various dimensions. The UAE’s flag, and the colors they represent, is revered by all its citizens as a symbol of the Federation that unites Emiratis to love their nation, be loyal to it and be ready to defend it. A Federal Law, issued in December 1971, made respect for the national flag and other countries’ flags mandatory and made provisions for penalties against any act that breaches its sanctity.

Since insulting a national flag is deemed a direct insult to the nation no country can allow its abuse or misuse in or outside the country. Sometimes incidents of this kind have led to major controversies and political problems. It is hence important to challenge any act of insult against the national flag even if it is unintentional. This not only restores respect for the national symbol but also creates awareness about its meaning and importance, especially among the youth. It is pertinent to note, in this context, the importance of a Ministry of Education resolution which makes it mandatory for all public and private schools to hoist the national flag and sing national anthem during the morning gathering or before the beginning of the school day. This resolution, which was adopted in the beginning of the 2009-10 academic year, was meant to ensure loyalty towards the nation from early childhood. This is important because value system and cultural sensitivities set in at a young age and meanings of symbols, especially that of the national flag, can at this stage be entrenched in the minds of children.

In light of the various challenges and threats to our national identity and as a result of our wise leadership’s keenness to maintain this identity in all its manifestations, the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced the year 2008 as the year of identity. This encompassed devotion, honor and understanding of the meaning of national symbols as matters of essential significance and ensured action towards maintaining national identity and challenges facing it. The flag is the symbol under which our ancestors have strived to promote the Federation and have worked to ensure that it is granted a deserved position among nations and people of the world. Every citizen in or outside the country should hence ensure that the flag is flying all over the world.