Philadelphia raised the flag of China at city hall last week to honor the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Mayor Jim Kenney announced last Tuesday the observation of “The People’s Republic of China Flag-raising Day,” according to Xinhua, China’s official state-run press agency.
The City of Philadelphia released photos of the event, showing a small crowd of attendees watching as the flag of China is raised.
The Epoch Times reported that local community groups had strongly opposed the raising of the Chinese flag, viewing it as an endorsement of the communist nation’s oppressive regime.
“Raising this flag, a symbol of the birth of the Chinese Communist Party on October 1, 1949 is only celebrating tyranny, repression, and death,” said one local resident in an email to Kenney, who like a large majority of the Philadelphia City Council is a Democrat.
The mayor’s office told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that “the flag raisings are not a sign of support for any specific government, political party, or movement.”
“Rather, they are an opportunity … for people with shared heritage to celebrate their backgrounds and experiences,” the office said.
In an opinion article published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, columnist Christine M. Flowers criticized the city’s justification for raising China’s flag “as part of a program devoted to multiculturalism and diversity.”
“Raising the flag of a brutal totalitarian regime does not honor the immigrants whose parents and grandparents were brutalized by the government it represents,” Flowers wrote. “Raising that flag does not honor the humanity of those Chinese refugees, prisoners of conscience, and victims of persecution who I have met in my capacity as an asylum advocate. Raising that flag is an abomination.”
Flowers said she’d written the mayor’s office to protest the event.
The office responded with the same statement provided to The Epoch Times. And Flowers didn’t buy it.
“Sorry, but it’s hard to understand how raising the Communist flag of China is not meant to support the Communist regime of China,” she wrote.
“Why not just announce a parade down the Parkway to commemorate the birth of Stalin in December? Or maybe raise the swastika at City Hall to commemorate Jan. 30, 1933, the day Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany?”