The Dragon and Lion Flag and Hong Kong Colonial Flag Draw Concern from Beijing

A Sea of Dragon and Lion Flags
A Sea of Hong Kong Colonial Flags

2012.7.3 Apple Daily(screen cap)

Hong Kong Colonial Flag and the Dragon and Lion Flag Draw Concern from Beijing

400,000 people took to the street to protest against “liar” CY Leung. Kwai To (*the author) heard that apart from the large number of protesters, Beijing is also astounded by a big increase in protesters who waved the British flag and “the Dragon and Lion Hong Kong flag”. It is said that the situation has drawn concern from Beijing and activities of “Hong Kong Autonomous Organisation” will be under close scrutiny. A pan-democratic source claims that Beijing has always been sending people to sneak into groups of protesters to record their sizes and demands. In fact, they had already noticed that there were people waving the British flag and “the Dragon and Lion Hong Kong” Flag in last year July 1st protest. Since the number of these people weren’t large and their chants weren’t radical, the authority ignored them.

Hong Kong Independence Chants Scare Beijing

However, this time, the number of concerned people increased dramatically – British flags and “the Dragon and Lion Hong Kong” flags became a little sea of flags. Many of them shouted chants of Hong Kong independence. 15 anniversary of Handover, Hong Kong has bred a group of people who are pro-Britain and support Hong Kong independence, and their number is increasing. How not to tell the Hong Kong authority, which treats splitting up the motherland to be a serious crime, to be clam?

In fact, in the eyes of Hongkonger and pan-democrats, the so-called local movement or “Hong Kong Autonomous Movement” is not a mainstream political stand of Hong Kong. Not many Hongkonger support this belief. Hong Kong has all sorts of political parties. There is no need to fuss about it. Is it a bit out of line to treat a kitten as a tiger?

Reactions from Apple Daily’s readers

郭: Actually, “Hong Kong Autonomous Movement” is neither “obsess with colonialism” nor “support Hong Kong independence”. HKAM advocates defence of Hong Kong local value and culture. We also defend sovereignty of Hong Kong.  We want “Hongkongers rule Hongkongers”, not “Communists rule Hongkongers”. This is the so called autonomous!

郭 (*continues) : The defence of the lion and dragon and the blending of the East and West – That is the flag of Hong Kong City-State Movement. Chinese dragon, English lion, the Hong Kong dragon and lion flag contains the spirit of the blending of the East and West, narrates the history of Hong Kong and defends the city-state of Hong Kong. This flag inherits the flag of British Hong Kong and the Chinese characters “Hong Kong” were added. The background was changed from white to royal blue of elegant and freedom. The flag symbolises the autonomy of Hong Kong.

Tsui: Now I openly question you, Apple, are you fabricating information of HKAM?! Is it because HKAM condemns that Democratic Party has became pro-Bejing?
Everyone pays attentions to the main point of the article: “In fact, in the eyes of Hongkonger and pan-democrats, the so-called local movement or “Hong Kong Autonomous Movement” is not a mainstream political stand of Hong Kong. Not many Hongkonger support this belief.”

葉: Apple Daily is **** and I am not. The dragon and lion flag advocates the real one country two systems. It is not a symbol of Hong Kong independence. Why does Apple mix up people who cherish the memory of good old days by waving Hong Kong colonial flags and those who strive for Hong Kong autonomy by waving the dragon and lion flags with those who want to get independence? Suppressing autonomous movement as it is not the value of political parties and unfairly labelling them as “love to be ruled by British”? I warn Apple that the number of people who support autonomous movement increase dramatically. Therefore, please don’t make false accusations

林: I had lived in Hong Kong for 21 years and had never paid attention to the dragon and lion flag of Hong Kong. 2 years ago, I saw this flag appear in a protest and therefore looked it up online, it was like a few days ago I specifically looked up how did “water barriers” look like, in order to broaden horizon. The rise of the dragon and lion flag is obviously the result of government oppression. The people of Hong Kong, especially young people, are strongly discontented with “re-colonisation”. Since this colonialiation is worse than the previous one, young people who have never “enjoyed” British rule dream about it. This is the irony of history.

“Water Barriers”

Netizens’ comments on Hong Kong Colonial Flag and the Dragon Lion Flag

地上最傻: Socialist Action misunderstood us. When we walked past them, they said anti-imperialism. And they told us not to split China and Hong Kong apart. The reason we waved this flag is not because we want to be ruled by Britain but because we want to cherish the old days.

無樓比人賤: This is the second time I brought Hong Kong flag to protest. Many 30 to 60 year-old, at least more than 50 people, asked to borrow the flag to wave and take photos. Many said that they miss pre-97 Hong Kong and British rule, they also said only this flag can represent Hong Kong. A few people even said Long Live the Queen and the colony.

精子對撞機: In the belief of other countries, there is only “independence”. You guy still want to be a colony. You are a laughing stock of the world media.

Elton_John^2: Using the flag of the previous sovereignty (to represent independence) is a common sense.

蘭子案: I faintly remember that the red and white of American flag is from the British colonial flag.

濕膠王: That’s why Beijing is afraid of the dragon and lion flag. The 50 stars on the American flag was originally a Union Jack.

千里鵰狸獅狒: Actually, we don’t need to shout any chants after taking this flag out. Because this is the greatest humiliation to HKSAR, Sai Wai (*Liaison Office is located in there. ), and Beijing. One country two systems, highly autonomy, piss off! I want the old Hong Kong back.

粵港剿總司令: I am a pan-Chinese nationalist and support the use of  Hong Kong Colonial flag. This is a way to face the history squarely. This is even a way to make Beijing lose face. What’s the problem? I bought mine to the protest as well. Older generation told me that they miss this flag. Young people who doesn’t know much are very supportive after I explained to them, and they asked for the place I bought it. Even more people took photos of me and borrowed my flag to take picture. There were so many people want to take pictures of the flag that I had to stop and let them finish.

伊卡洛斯: Some people think that this flag should not be waved because we were second class citizens when Hong Kong was a colony of another country (despite being a second class citizen of that time is better than nowadays Hong Kong first class citizens.) However, this flag can really enrage Beijing.

Pro-Beijing Newspaper Takungpao attacks the appearance of Hong Kong Colonial flag and the Dragon and Lion flag in Hong Kong July 1st protest.

In the protest, some people showed colonial period Hong Kong flags that have the crown of Britain and lion as coat of arms. Of course, this flag existed. However, as Hong Kong returned to the rule of China in 1997,  Beijing proclaimed the regional emblem Hong Kong Bauhinia as the regional flag of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This “British Hong Kong” flag can only be sent to the museum and should not be displayed and used. What’s the intention of showing this flag? The heart of denying Handover and resisting Beijing must be revealed and condemned.

Netizens’ reactions to this piece of criticism

凌羽天V: Whatever the enemy oppose we support. What ever the enemy support we oppose. – Chairman Mao

巴塞有黑哨: Commie thieves tell me that bringing Hong Kong flag to protest is correct.

Hong Kong Colonial Flag in front of the Liaison Office in Sai Wan.

The person in the following photo explained why he waved Hong Kong Colonial flag

Photo from the Washington Post

It was me that let Hong Kong flag fly

This year July 1st, sea of Hong Kong flags appeared.
Some say this is a colonialism obsession.
Uncles of Victoria Park” (*Pro-Beijing elderly) say this is an act of “running dogs” and collusion with foreign powers.
However, isn’t it a way to demand democracy? Isn’t it a silent protest?

The history of Hong Kong under British rule gives me a mixed feeling. Sun Yet Sen once said that he was amazed by Victoria times Hong Kong, and Britain let Hong Kong develop freely. After 60’s, Britain was devoted to raise the living standard of Hongkonger and develop economy. The economic achievement of Hong Kong was incomparable. However, in the early colonial period, the government didn’t treat local ethnic Chinese fairly and ignored the welfare of them. Those should not be forgotten…Anyway, compared with HKSAR’s 15 years of failure, “Hongkonger rule Hongkonger” was a thousand times worse than “foreigners’ colony”.

I decided to raise Hong Kong flag, not because I wish that Hong Kong would be in the history of Britain again, and I don’t even wish that the political situation and society of Hong Kong would be reverted back to pre-1997. I only wish that one day, Hong Kong could be independent and join the Commonwealth. Don’t let the international status of Hong Kong fade.


The police split protesters into three groups in front of the new government headquarters. After my group reached the platform of the headquarters, we were forced to watch fireworks. As a result, we rested a little and took turns to look after the flag. Coincidentally, there was a photojournalist behind me. He made many attempts and took this photo in the dark. I wish that this photo would mean that the democracy of Hong Kong would come back victoriously one day.

15 thoughts on “The Dragon and Lion Flag and Hong Kong Colonial Flag Draw Concern from Beijing

  1. Hong Kong also benefited England’s economy during British rule. Currently U.K themselves are doing even more worse than Hong Kong, even this generation of English people aren’t as great as the older generation. But I would agree that Hong Kong did become glorious under British rule but that’s because they gave us the opportunity to progressed, and of course they respected freedom, liberty, human rights. The older generation of HKongers also had created many famous Asian celebrities and legends in the world, but ever since the handover to China our glory began to shrink.

    Hongkonger rule Hongkonger ??? it’s more like HongKongers rule Hongkongers with interference and influences of Communist China.

    1. Totally agree… Not to mention that ironically, under Chinese rule, Hong Kong has been less ‘independent’, and less ‘glorious’ than being under foreign rule..

      Hong Kong can most-likely be better on their own, independent sovereign state. They can solve problems finally that Hong Kongers need to be solved, like air pollution, and etc. They can tend to Hong Kongers, and only Hong Kongers, they can review and rewrite the constitution of Hong Kong (the Basic Law), and in time, I can bet you that Hong Kong will be just like good old days, and possibly even better! Not to mention we can save Cantonese and Traditional Chinese characters, and finally use both (Canto and TradChin) in peace away from China’s simplified influences and Mandarin invasion. What a great Hong Kong that would be…

  2. I would vote for HK independence, and maybe rejoin the british as a commonwealth state.

    currently HK is ran by a puppet of a china CCP and most people in HK don’t have the guts to speak upand call for independence, even at the cost of their lives. many people don’t have the guts to fire their boss because they don’t want to break their ‘iron bowls’

    would you fight now while you still can or wait until you can’t fight anymore while totally dependent and becoming a ‘5-star’ dog.

    it is sad that HK slowly becoming a third world state….

  3. I think there is no doubt that HK would have achieved universal suffrage were it still a British dominion (more or less all current and former British dominions have obtained some sort of independence and freedom). Of course, now that HK is part of China there’s no way that will happen (not with the CCP in control at least) and Hkers are now realising they are trapped between a rock and a hard place.

    Interesting they are using the old flag and coat of arms / standard of former HK.

  4. It’s tragic that the mainland treats them so poorly that they’d resort to proudly flying the flag of oppressive colonialism. They definitely should have joined the ROC instead; why aren’t they waving that flag? Hong Kong must rid their culture of Occidental hegemony if they want to maintain dignity as a Chinese people, and I’m saying this as someone who is proudly Anglo-American. Japan, a country I love even more than Britain, did many wonderful things for Taiwan, but it would be capitally insulting if Taiwanese people flew the Japanese flag, even if only to enrage the PRC.

    1. First, ROC has never ruled Hong Kong. Second, these days, ROC flag means Taiwan flag. Taiwanese, esp the younger generation, would read the waving of their flag as the message that Hong Kong would like to drag Taiwan into a part of China. Third, waving British Hong Kong flag is the most effective “Fuck You” to China. Waiving Union Jack is way less ambiguous than waving ROC flag in Hong Kong, which could mean anti-Taiwan independence.

      1. I agree that neither the PRC nor the ROC has ever ruled Hong Kong. What I’m saying is that it would have been better for Hong Kong to join the ROC instead of the PRC, since the Qing Dynasty is (thankfully) dead and the UK has (rightfully) left.

        Every well-educated Chinese person knows that the “Taiwan flag” is currently the official flag of the Republic of China. Any confusion would arise from pure ignorance of politics, history, and culture. If the people of Hong Kong truly desire freedom and democracy, then this is the flag that they should fly. In fact, waiving the Union Jack would send the message to the British that you’d like to be their property for another 99 years, which would revive an old colonial evil.

        As for Taiwanese independence: I support Taiwan’s independence from the PRC, and I condemn Taiwan’s independence from the ROC. I have a similar stance regarding Hong Kong: I support Hong Kong’s independence from the PRC, and I condemn Hong Kong’s independence from the pan-Chinese community; joining the ROC would be the best way to solidify this Chinese identity for future generations, and would allow Hong Kong to appropriately distance herself from her shameful colonial past. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of Stockholm syndrome; be proud to be a Chinese “Hong Konger”.

  5. Andrew I don’t understand why, as you said you’re an Anglo-American and not Taiwanese/Hong Konger, you are supporting or condemning what Taiwanese or Hong Konger should do regarding the PRC or the ROC, and exort them to be proudly Chinese, can’t they still choose their fate and how they should call their countries and identities like Singaporeans for example?
    My Taiwanese friend say exactly the contrary, that it’s not from the PRC that Taiwan must declare independance, but from the ROC, to escape a fate in the hand of an exterior hostile threat.

    Above you are saying that Taiwanese would not raise a Japan flag. Indeed, but there is still this similarity with the Hon Konger logic in that Taiwanese may from time to time evoke the good old times of Japanese administration to criticise present-day ignominy (this began in 1945, at least until they were massacred by the proudly Chinese occupation army in 1947).

    For example more recently photos of the Japanese emperor kneeling to march 11 victims have been circulating, matching photos of 2008 Taiwan flood victims kneeling in front of (an indifferent?) Ma Ying-Jeou.

    It proceeds from the same logic isn’t it ?

    1. My ethnicity is unrelated to my desire to immigrate to Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau, where such matters would indeed affect me, as well as my future family.

      Your Taiwanese friend is supporting what I consider to be a dangerous ideology, since the ROC’s primary stronghold is on the island of Formosa. If the ROC government were to be expelled from Taiwan, it would be forced to retreat to the remaining islands, leaving it susceptible to obliteration at the hands of the PRC. This is an unacceptable risk for the future of Chinese culture for many reasons, including the fact that the ROC promotes traditional Chinese characters and Zhuyin fuhao.

      The fact is, 98% of the residents in Taiwan are of the Han Chinese ethnicity, and this fact alone renders 98% of them “Chinese” (just as I am English by blood and American by nationality, despite my family’s residency here for seventeen generations). There seems to be this pervasive view among residents and expatriates of Taiwan that they are “either Chinese OR Taiwanese”; it is certainly possible to be both, and most indeed are. Why is it so unpalatable to be ethnically Chinese and nationally Taiwanese? Neither of which have anything to do with the PRC, nor imply any loyalty or allegiance to its government! I believe this internal conflict to be similar to that of Hong Kong and Macau as well.

      We mustn’t allow the PRC to be the sole representative of the Chinese people, language, and culture.

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