Spotted: Bodycon dress designed to look like Philippine national flag

October 12, 2023 - 6:30 PM
Flag dress
(Screengrab from Otaku Emporium via Lazada Philippines)

A certain product on a popular online shopping platform earned the attention of a local Reddit community for using the Philippine national flag as its design reference.

A Reddit user on Sunday, October 8 made Filipinos aware of a bodycon dress being sold in Lazada Philippines by the seller “Otaku Emporium.”

The dress has three designs — with the first one being the most controversial.

Labeled as “FD #001,” the first dress had a design that made it appear as if it was the national flag hanging vertically.

It had elements of the flag, except for the two yellow stars seen in the national flag’s white equilateral triangle.

The product is being sold with the name “Sublimated Philippine Women Dress.”

“Ey WTF, hahahaha,” the Redditor who spotted the product in the e-commerce app wrote.

‘ey WTF hahahah
byu/Fluid_Hair_7273 inPhilippines

Majority of the commenters took note of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, also known as Republic Act 8491.

“It’s against the law,” a Redditor wrote.

“Wartime flag pa nga,” another Reddit user commented.

“Total disrespect to the flag of the Philippines, next thing you know they’ll sell flag diapers,” wrote a different user.

“Isn’t [it] bawal? It’s against the law, omg,” commented another Redditor with a loudly-crying emoji.

The Flag and Heraldic Code provides the basic rules and guidelines for displaying and hoisting the Philippine flag properly.

It also stipulates the code for the national flag, anthem, motto, coat-of-arms and other heraldic items and devices of the Philippines.

Part of Section 39 of the code says it is prohibited to “wear the National Flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform.”

It is also against the law “to print, paint or attach representation of the National Flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and articles of merchandise.”

Merchandise refers to “the commodities or goods that are bought and sold in business.”

Meanwhile, the Flag and Heraldic Code defines the “National Flag” as the following:

“The National Flag and Ensign of the Philippines, unless stated otherwise, used on land and sea by public, private and the military and shall refer to the flag or any other design that so resembles it as likely to cause any person to believe that it is the flag or design stated, expressed or provided in the Constitution of the Philippines, R.A. No. 8491 and these Rules.”

In 2018, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines released an advisory about commercial products bearing elements of the national flag such as the yellow stars and a coat of arms.

“Babala: Huwag tatangkilikin ang produktong ito dahil nilalabag nito ang Batas Republika Blg. 8491 o ang ‘Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines’ na nagbabawal sa paggamit sa mga elemento ng Pambansang Watawat ng Pilipinas sa mga produktong komersyal,” it said before.

Its particular post featured a picture of rubber shoes having design elements of the national flag.