VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says staff did nothing wrong when they allowed the People’s Republic of China flag to be raised at city hall late last month.
The flag was raised by Vision Vancouver councillor Kerry Jang to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Republic.
The city’s decision to approve hoisting the flag also raised some eyebrows and drew the ire of Chinese immigrants and former Tiananmen Square protestors who say the move brought back memories of loved ones lost during the Communist Party’s rise to power.
“It’s all about the national day of a country so if it’s a country and they have a national day and there are community groups organizing that, that’s the approach that the city takes; you can raise the flag at city hall,” Robertson says. “We don’t get involved in whatever controversy there is between community groups or issues people have with various countries around the world. So far it’s just a country can have it’s flag raised at city hall according to the city policy.”
The city does have a flag policy which lays out the conditions under which staff can approve or refuse a flag raising request.
Groups opposed to the Republic of China have called for Jang and Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido to resign for wearing red scarves, a garment commonly associated with Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
Peschisolido has since apologized.