Recognizing only the Yellow Flag with Three Red Stripes
for and by Vietnamese Americans




Garden Grove Mayor Pro Tempore Van Thai Tran, Esq.
Westminter Councilman Andy Quach

Garden Grove City Hall, 11222 Acacia Parkway, Garden Grove, CA 92842; 
Phone: (714) 741-5104; Fax: (714) 741-5044

Westminster City Hall, 8200 Westminster Boulevard, CA 92683; Phone
(714) 898-3311; Fax: (714) 531-0568

June 2, 2003

Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung
Consul General 
Via facsimile & U.S. mail

Consulate General of Vietnam 
(415) 922-1848
1700 California Street, Suite 430
San Francisco, CA 94109

Dear Mr. Nguyen:

We write in response to your recent letters addressed to the Cities of Westminster and Garden Grove, and public comments in your governments propaganda mouthpiece, the Nhan Dan Daily, regarding our respective city councils unanimous approval of resolutions to honor the Vietnamese nationalist flag as a symbol of freedom and democracy for the Vietnamese-American community. This letter also serves as a general response to your embassy's numerous protest letters over the same issue within the past three months; via your ambassador and your embassy's press attache, Nguyen Tam Chien and Bach Ngoc Chien, respectively.

We categorically reject your governments contention that the resolutions in Westminster and Garden Grove approving the local display of the Vietnamese nationalist flag, as represented by three horizontal red stripes on a yellow background, violate international conventions and practices. As independent, elected municipal entities, we do not answer to the U.S. federal government, or to Hanoi, on an issue that involves the wishes and desires of our constituents. The Vietnamese-American community in our two cities has the right to select and display its own political symbol, on city-owned property, as allowed by the resolutions. Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right of an American citizen or a community to disavow the Vietnamese communist flag, by way of favoring the nationalist flag, trumps any contravening laws or diplomatic conventions. 

Surely, a local jurisdiction has the legal authority to permit the Vietnamese-American community to display its own political symbol at any community functions and events on any city-owned property and facility. The passage of these resolutions is a formal reflection of the wishes of our Vietnamese-American constituents and residents, who comprise a substantial population in Westminster and Garden Grove. Unlike your government, which is centralized in nature and dictatorial in practice, the U.S. is a democracy represented by duly elected officials, at all levels, who are directly answerable not to the Party, but to the people. 

Also, your assertion that the flag resolutions obstruct diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Vietnam is without merit. As prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, only the federal government has the authority to establish foreign policy with other nations. In this case, the resolutions introduced and approved by Westminster and Garden Grove do not in any form or content, interfere or inhibit the constitutional authority of Washington, DC, to conduct foreign policy with Hanoi. The chronic and ongoing obstruction to
the improvement of ties between the two countries is due to your governments systematic and continuing violation of human and civil rights. The U.S. government and various independent human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Asia Watch, have annually reported and condemned your government for numerous cases of human rights abuses. 

In order to create better ties with the U.S., we suggest that Hanoi should immediately release all political and religious prisoners and respects the right of its own citizens to freely associate and to elect their own representatives. Only when Vietnam decides to join the international community as a truly free and democratic nation could it begin to establish normal relations with the U.S. The spirit of friendship and cooperation you have extolled could not be fully developed when your government continues to wage war on its own citizens.

Lastly, your recent comments on the Nhan Dan Daily, falsely claiming to speak for the Vietnamese-American community in this country on the flag issue, as well as your specific criticisms directed at four Vietnamese Americans, three of whom are elected officials of this country, were highly inappropriate, at best, and illegal, at worse. As a foreign bureaucrat operating in the U.S., diplomatic protocols and treaties with our government explicitly prohibits you from interfering in the internal affairs of this country, especially on local issues that affect the daily activities of American citizens. When you made such intrusive comments about Vietnamese-Americans in this country, which your government does not represent, you are acting beyond the scope of your limited duty as a foreign diplomat. 

Adverse diplomatic consequences on you, personally, and against your government, shall be felt should you continue to act in such an undiplomatic manner. You and your colleagues should immediately cease and desist from meddling in the internal affairs of our community. 

Govern yourself accordingly.


Van Thai Tran, Esq Andy Quach
Mayor Pro Tempore Councilman
City of Garden Grove City of Westminster


Cc: Secretary Colin Powell
Mr. Nguyen Tam Chien
Mr. Bach Ngoc Chien


Danh sách các thành phố, quận hạt và tiểu bang đă
thông 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:



Nha Kỹ Thuật

Trường Thủ Đức


Garden Grove Mayor Pro Tempore Van Thai Tran, Esq. 
Westminter Councilman Andy Quach

Garden Grove City Hall, 
11222 Acacia Parkway, Garden Grove, CA 92842; 
Phone: (714) 741-5104; Fax: (714) 741-5044 

Westminster City Hall,
8200 Westminster Boulevard, Westminster, CA 92683; 
Phone (714) 898-3311; Fax: (714)531-0568 

Nga`y 2 tha'ng 6, 2003 

O^ng Nguye^~n Ma.nh Hu`ng
To^?ng La~nh Su*. To`a To^?ng La~nh Su*. Vie^.t Nam 
Qua ddie^.n thu* va` bu*u ddie^.n Hoa Ky` 
1700 California Street, Suite 
430 (415) 922-1848 
San Francisco, CA 94109 

Thu*a O^ng Hu`ng: 

Chu'ng to^i vie^'t nhu*~ng do`ng na`y dde^? tra? lo*`i nhu*~ng bu*'c thu* mo*'i dda^y cu?a o^ng go*?i dde^'n hai tha`nh pho^' Westminster va` Garden Grove, va` nhu*~ng lo*`i bi`nh pha^?m co^ng khai dda+ng tre^n Nha^.t Ba'o Nha^n Da^n, co* quan tuye^n truye^`n cu?a chi'nh phu? o^ng, ve^` vie^.c ho^.i ddo^`ng tha`nh pho^' chu'ng to^i dda~ ddo^`ng loa.t cha^'p thua^.n ca'c nghi. quye^'t to^n vinh la' co*` Quo^'c Gia Vie^.t Nam, bie^?u tu*o*.ng cho tu*. do va` da^n chu? cu?a co^.ng ddo^`ng ngu*o*`i My~ go^'c Vie^.t. La' thu* na`y cu~ng dde^? tra? lo*`i chung cho nhie^`u bu*'c thu* pha?n ddo^'i kha'c trong ba tha'ng qua ve^` su*. vie^.c na`y cu?a To`a DDa.i Su*' Vie^.t Nam, qua DDa.i Su*' Nguye^~n Ta^m Chie^'n va` Tu`y Vie^n Ba'o Chi' cu?a ca'c o^ng la` Ngo.c Chie^'n. 

Chu'ng to^i cu*.c lu*.c ba'c bo? lua^.n ddie^.u cu?a chi'nh phu? o^ng cho ra+`ng vie^.c tha`nh pho^' Westminster va` Garden Grove ban ha`nh nghi. quye^'t cho phe'p treo la' co*` va`ng ba so.c ddo? ta.i ddi.a phu*o*ng la` vi pha.m co^ng u*o*'c quo^'c te^'. La` nhu*~ng thu*.c the^? ha`nh cha'nh da^n cu*? va` ddo^.c la^.p o*? ddi.a phu*o*ng, chu'ng to^i kho^ng bi. ra`ng buo^.c bo*?i chi'nh phu? lie^n bang Hoa Ky`, hay Ha` No^.i khi co' mo^.t va^'n dde^` lie^n quan dde^'n nhu*~ng nguye^.n cu?a cu*? tri chu'ng to^i. Co^.ng ddo^`ng ngu*o*`i My~ go^'c Vie^.t cu* ngu. ta.i hai tha`nh pho^' chu'ng to^i co' quye^`n lu*.a cho.n va` tru*ng ba`y bie^?u tu*o*.ng no'i le^n quan nie^.m chi'nh tri. cu?a chi'nh ho. tre^n pha^`n dda^'t so*? hu*~u cu?a tha`nh pho^', nhu* ca'c nghi. quye^'t dda~ cho phe'p. Theo tinh tha^`n Tu Chi'nh A'n So^' Mo^.t cu?a Hie^'n Pha'p Hoa Ky`, quye^`n cu?a mo^.t co^ng da^n hay mo^.t co^.ng ddo^`ng ngu*o*`i My~ kho^ng co^ng nha^.n la' co*` Co^.ng Sa?n Vie^.t Nam va` cho.n la' co*` Quo^'c Gia vu*o*.t tha+'ng ba^'t cu*' lua^.t le^. hoa+.c quy u*o*'c ngoa.i giao na`o ddi ngu*o*.c la.i da^n quye^`n na`y. 

Thu*.c va^.y, gio*'i chu*'c ddi.a phu*o*ng co' tha^?m quye^`n cho phe'p nhu*~ng ngu*o*`i My~ go^'c Vie^.t ddu*o*.c quye^`n tru*ng ba`y bie^?u tu*o*.ng chi'nh tri. cu?a chi'nh ho. trong ba^'t cu*' le^~ ho^.i va` sinh hoa.t co^.ng ddo^`ng, tre^n ba^'t cu*' tru. so*? na`o thuo^.c so*? hu*~u cu?a tha`nh pho^'. Su*. tho^ng qua cu?a nhu*~ng nghi. quye^'t na`y chi'nh thu*'c no'i le^n nguye^.n cu?a nhu*~ng cu* da^n va` cu*? tri ngu*o*`i My~ go^'c Vie^.t chu'ng to^i, mo^.t da^n so^' dda'ng ke^? ta.i Westminster va` Garden Grove. Kha'c vo*'i chi'nh phu? o^ng, ba?n cha^'t ta^.p trung quye^`n ha`nh va` ddo^.c ta`i tre^n thu*.c te^', chi'nh phu? My~ la` mo^.t chi'nh quye^`n da^n chu? go^`m nhu*~ng vie^n chu*'c o*? mo.i ca^'p do da^n chi'nh thu*'c ba^`u ra, tru*.c tie^'p chi.u tra'ch nhie^.m kho^ng pha?i vo*'i DDa?ng, nhu*ng vo*'i da^n. 

Tha^.t la` lo*`i no'i vo^ gia' tri. khi o^ng xa'c quye^'t ra+`ng nhu*~ng nghi. quye^'t ve^` la' co*` va`ng ba so.c ddo? la`m ca?n tro*? mo^'i tu*o*ng quan ngoa.i giao giu*~a Hoa Ky` va` Vie^.t Nam. Nhu* Hie^'n Pha'p Hoa Ky` dda~ quy ddi.nh, chi? co' chi'nh phu? lie^n bang mo*'i co' quye^`n thie^'t la^.p chi'nh sa'ch ngoa.i giao vo*'i ca'c quo^'c gia kha'c. Trong tru*o*`ng ho*.p na`y, nhu*~ng nghi. quye^'t ddu*o*.c dde^` xu*o*'ng va` chua^?n thua^.n bo*?i tha`nh pho^' Westminster va` Garden Grove, tu*` hi`nh thu*'c dde^'n no^.i dung, kho^ng co' can thie^.p hoa+.c ca?n tro*? quye^`n ha`nh ma` hie^'n pha'p dda~ quy ddi.nh cho Hoa Thi.nh DDo^'n khi ha`nh xu*? chi'nh sa'ch ngoa.i giao vo*'i Ha` No^.i.. Su*. ca?n tro*? kinh nie^n va` ha+`ng xa^?y ra cho vie^.c ca?i tie^'n mo^'i lie^n he^. giu*~a hai quo^'c gia la` do nhu*~ng vi pha.m nha^n quye^`n va` da^n quye^`n tie^'p die^~n co' he^. tho^'ng cu?a chi'nh phu? o^ng. Chi'nh phu? Hoa Ky` va` nhu*~ng to^? chu*'c nha^n quye^`n ddo^.c la^.p, nhu* Ho^.i A+n Xa' Quo^'c Te^', Ho^.i Ba?o Ve^. Nha^n Quye^`n, va` To^? Chu*'c Asia Watch dda~ ha+`ng na+m ba'o ca'o va` le^n a'n chi'nh phu? o^ng ve^` ra^'t nhie^`u tru*o*`ng ho*.p vi pha.m nha^n quye^`n. 

DDe^? thie^'t la^.p mo^'i bang giao to^'t dde.p ho*n vo*'i Hoa Ky`, chu'ng to^i dde^` nghi. Ha` No^.i ha~y la^.p tu*'c tra? tu*. do cho nhu*~ng tu` nha^n chi'nh tri. va` to^n gia'o, to^n quye^`n cu?a ngu*o*`i da^n Vie^.t Nam ddu*o*.c tu*. do ho^.i ho.p va` bo? phie^'u ba^`u le^n nhu*~ng ngu*o*`i dda.i die^.n cho ho.. Chi? khi na`o Vie^.t Nam quye^'t ddi.nh gia nha^.p co^.ng ddo^`ng quo^'c te^' nhu* la` mo^.t quo^'c gia thu*.c su*. co' tu*. do va` da^n chu?, ba^'y gio*` Ha` No^.i mo*'i kho*?i su*. bi`nh thu*o*`ng ho'a mo^'i bang giao vo*'i Hoa Ky` ddu*o*.c. Tinh tha^`n hie^'u nghi. va` ho*.p ta'c o^ng dda~ tu*`ng ca ngo*.i kho^ng the^? pha't trie^?n to^'t dde.p khi chi'nh phu? o^ng va^~n co`n tie^'p tu.c ga^y chie^'n vo*'i co^ng da^n cu?a chi'nh mi`nh. 

Sau cu`ng, nhu*~ng lo*`i bi`nh pha^?m mo*'i dda^y cu?a o^ng tre^n Nha^.t Ba'o Nha^n Da^n ma.o danh co^.ng ddo^`ng ngu*o*`i My~ go^'c Vie^.t ta.i dda^y ve^` la' co*` va`ng ba so.c ddo?, cu~ng nhu* nhu*~ng lo*`i chi? tri'ch cu?a o^ng nha+'m va`o bo^'n nha^n va^.t ngu*o*`i My~ go^'c Vie^.t, trong ddo' co' ba vi. da^n cu*?. Ne^'u no'i nhe. thi` ha`nh ddo^.ng na`y kho^ng ddu*o*.c ddu'ng dda+'n va` la` ba^'t ho*.p pha'p ne^'u pha?i lo*`i. La` mo^.t co^ng chu*'c ngoa.i giao ddang hoa.t ddo^.ng ta.i Hoa Ky`, ca'c hie^.p u*o*'c va` thu? tu.c ngoa.i giao vo*'i chi'nh phu? chu'ng to^i ca^'m o^ng kho^ng ddu*o*.c can thie^.p va`o no^.i bo^. cu?a quo^'c gia na`y, nha^'t la` ve^` nhu*~ng va^'n dde^` ddi.a phu*o*ng co' a?nh hu*o*?ng dde^'n sinh hoa.t ha`ng nga`y cu?a ca'c co^ng da^n My~. Khi ddu*a ra nhu*~ng lo*`i bi`nh pha^?m co' ti'nh ca'ch xoi mo'i nhu* the^' ve^` nhu*~ng co^ng da^n My~ go^'c Vie^.t ta.i dda^y ma` chi'nh phu? cu?a o^ng kho^ng he^` dda.i die^.n cho ho., o^ng dda~ ha`nh ddo^.ng qua' quye^`n ha.n cu?a mo^.t nha` ngoa.i giao. 

Ne^'u o^ng cu*' tie^'p tu.c ha`nh ddo^.ng mo^.t ca'ch thie^'u ngoa.i giao nhu* the^', o^ng se~ hu*'ng chi.u nhu*~ng ha^.u qua? tai ha.i cho chi'nh ca' nha^n o^ng va` ba^'t lo*.i cho chi'nh phu? o^ng dda.i die^.n. O^ng va` ca'c ddo^`ng nghie^.p cu?a o^ng pha?i tu*'c kha+'c kho^ng ddu*o*.c xen va`o no^.i vu. cu?a co^.ng ddo^`ng chu'ng to^i. 

O^ng ne^n tu*. ha`nh xu*? cho thi'ch nghi. 


Lua^.t su* Tra^`n Tha'i Va+n - Andy Qua'ch
Nghi. vie^n kie^m Pho' Thi. Tru*o*?ng - Nghi. vie^n
Tha`nh Pho^' Garden Grove - Tha`nh Pho^' Westminster 

Ba?n sao: Ngoa.i Tru*o*?ng Colin Powell
O^ng Nguye^~n Ta^m Chie^'n 
O^ng Ngo.c Chie^'n
O^ng Nguye^~n Ma.nh Hu`ng 

























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