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UK: Taiwan Flag Disappears from London Olympics Street Display

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

On July 24, 2012, just before the Olympic torch was about to relay across London, the national flag of Taiwan was removed from Regent Street  in the United Kingdom capital. All other national flags are still hanging to welcome representatives to this summer's Games from across the world.

Many Taiwanese feel disappointed about the sudden disappearance of the flag. Facebook user Yi-hao Liao complained [zh]:

哀… 原本還高興一下下的

Sigh…I was happy for a while.

London prepares to welcome the world for the start of the Olympics.

Reddit user lol_oopsie asked why the national flag was removed:

I'm curious to know whether this is London officials panicking, or whether Chinese authorities warned them to take it down. Either way, I think it deserves some attention. All of the Olympic coverage has totally ignored it.

Another reddit user mintytiny tried to give an answer:

Though didn't offer any explanation, yet according to Regent Street Association, they'll replace it with the Olympic flag used to represent Taiwan.
I have to say, this is really lame and any real explanation will be better.

Another Facebook user, Melissa Alexender, made a photo to protest against the removal of Taiwan's national flag:

Melissa Alexender's protest photo, via Facebook.

Melissa Alexender's protest photo, via Facebook.

Underneath the photo, Melissa urges others to email the Regent Street management team, Anastasia, and ask them to put the Taiwan national flag back up. In response to Melissa's call, Kenneth Wong, wrote to the Regent Street Association and posted the reply below Melissa’s photo:

Dear Kenneth

Thank you for your email.

This matter has been raised and I can confirm that the Chinese Taipei Flag will be going up tomorrow evening.

I can ensure you that all competing nations flags will be displayed.

Kind regards

Lucy Turnbull
Regent Street Association Ltd

Melissa Alexender was disappointed by the reply:

We don't want the Chinese Taipei flag but our national flag! Regent Street is not covered by the Network of London Olympic Route neither part of Olympic Stadium, hence, there is no reason to refuse the placement of Taiwanese national flag!

Meanwhile, designer Tammy Lin wrote a light-hearted post making some creative suggestions to rectify the situation, such as smuggling the Taiwanese flag back onto the street, making the flag into a 3D advert or turning it into a QR code.

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

  • Great post, I-fan! Thank you for bringing this to Global Voices!

  • Pingback: Taiwan Flag Replaced on Regent Street, London « Ilha Formosa – Alt om Taiwan()

  • Chinamoviemagic

    “Taiwan national flag”??? 
    Rather…”Republic of China” national flag

  • ssadfIt’s just sad that they would make a mistake like that. As a Taiwanese who spent more time abroad than in my homeland, seeing our national flag in a foreign country is always prideful. But the fact that they would put it up and take it down is distasteful.
    I know my politics which is more reason why mistakes like this should not be made, either put the politically correct one up or keep the correct one up. Obviously the people up at RSA don’t know their politics as much as they say they do. But I do appreciate their recognition for putting the correct flag up there in the first place.

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