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Posted on Sun, Nov. 23, 2003 story:PUB_DESC
Arlington salutes Vietnamese flag

Star-Telegram Staff Writer
SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM/MATT SLOCUM

Dau Nguyen of Arlington carries the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom flag Saturday.

SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM/MATT SLOCUM

Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and city officials wave the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom flag during a ceremony Saturday at the Phuoc Loc Tho Asian Market Center. The event celebrated the unanimous recognition of the flag by the City Council.

Hundreds of residents of Vietnamese descent gathered Saturday to celebrate the City Council's resolution recognizing a historical banner as the symbol of the Vietnamese-American community here.

The flag features three horizontal red stripes running across a golden yellow field and is known as the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom Flag. The flag has historical roots in Vietnam that date back more than a century. In its present form, it was the flag of the Republic of Vietnam.

"This flag has nothing to do with politics," said Andy Nguyen, president of the Vietnamese-American Community of Greater Tarrant County. "We just want to make a statement."

The resolution does, however, stem from a local event with political origins: In October, a Socialist Republic of Vietnam government trade delegation visited Arlington to discuss business opportunities here. Delegates also visited officials in Fort Worth and Dallas.

The visit drew protests from Nguyen and other area Vietnamese-Americans who picketed the Arlington Chamber of Commerce building during the meeting. They protested human rights abuses in Vietnam.

For Nguyen and the 500 residents and visitors who gathered to celebrate Saturday, the resolution was a rebuke to the current Vietnamese government and its red flag with a yellow star.

In the United States, more than two dozen cities and several states have adopted similar resolutions recognizing what many Vietnamese-Americans call "the yellow flag."

"Vietnam is at this moment a communist country," said the Rev. Anh Tran, who is director of vocations for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth. "The red flag with the yellow star, we can't accept it."

The resolution, adopted Nov. 11, found a warm supporter in Mayor Robert Cluck, who as an Air Force surgeon treated service personnel wounded in the Vietnam War.

"I'm very, very proud of this City Council," Cluck told the crowd that filled the central foyer at the Phuoc Loc Tho Asian Market Center in southeast Arlington. "This resolution was developed by the entire City Council, and as you heard, it was voted unanimously, nine to nothing.

"We are so proud that we were able to do this resolution for you," Cluck said. "We understand the pain you've gone through."

Cluck was joined at the 10:30 a.m. ceremony, which lasted more than an hour, by six council members. All joined in the applause and flag-waving that followed a presentation of the colors by uniformed veterans of the former Republic of Vietnam and a series of speeches and songs in English and Vietnamese.

After the ceremony, Nguyen said he pushed for the resolution because the flag now flying over Vietnam is a Communist Party symbol that does not represent those who fled party control.

"It's like the Republican Party imposed their flag with the elephant," in place of the Stars and Stripes, Nguyen said.

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Danh sαch cαc thΰnh phố, quận hạt vΰ tiểu bang đγ
thτng qua Nghị Quyết Vinh Danh Quốc Kỳ Việt Nam.

List of Cities and States with Resolutions and Proclamations
recognizing the Vietnamese Freedom and Heritage Flag:
 

http://quockyvietnam.tripod.com/
 


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