Filipino boy scouts were criticized for burning strained Philippine flags, here’s what the law says

June 13, 2022 - 6:25 PM
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A photo of some members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines burning a strained Philippine flag during the 124th Independence Day on 12 June 2022 (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

A provision in the Flag and Heraldic Code in the Philippines was brought up online after some people criticized the burning of strained flags during the 124th Independence Day festivities on June 12.

Some members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines conducted a burning activity of a strained Philippine flag in front of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park last Sunday.

This event called “Flag Disposal Ceremony” was in accordance with the Section 14 of the Flag and Heraldic Code, which states that:

“A flag worn out through wear and tear, shall not be thrown away. It shall be solemnly burned to avoid misuse or desecration. The flag shall be replaced immediately when it begins to show signs of wear and tear.”

Media outlets reported this activity on social media.

Despite the details of it in the caption, some Filipinos still expressed alarm over why the Philippine flag was being burned.

“Ay walang galang sinunog ang watawat ng plipinas ikulong ang mga nanunog na yan,” one Facebook user said.

“National flag of the Philippines is SACRED,” another online user commented.

Others are criticizing the boy scouts for burning the flag.

“Hindi ba tama na dapat ilagay yan sa museum or sa isang lugar para maitago for history record?” one Facebook user asked.

“Against the law,” an online user said.

In defense of the boy scouts, a few Filipinos raised the specific provision on Republic Act 8491 to clear the air.

Some, on the other hand, called on them to read the caption first before making unnecessary comments.

“Nasa caption na nga magbasa din paminsan minsan. Huwag react agad,” one Facebook user said.

A few online users also suggested that captions of such reports should have been written in Filipino.

“Bakit kasi English ang pag kasabi siyempre maraming mag tataka bakit sinusunog ang Watawat flag nang Pilipinas,” one online user said.

Scouting is an activity that the American soldiers introduced to the country following their occupation.

The local organization was inaugurated on Jan. 1, 1938.

Last Sunday, boy scouts from across the country also conducted their own celebrations to mark the 124th Philippine Independence Day.