Flag Alert

I once wrote about how you could be fired upon for waving a white flag in Israel. Well, it looks as if flags can bring a whole slew of problems in the country of Indonesia too. Don’t think about raising a flag there because you could risk being sent to prison for doing such a thing; just look at Filep Karma!

Former civil servant Filep Karma was among approximately 200 people who took part in a peaceful ceremony in Abepura, Papua Province, Indonesia on 1 December 2004. In commemoration of the declaration of Papaun independence in 1962, the Morning Star Flag was raised. Police then advanced on the crowd, firing warning shots and beating people with batons. Filep Karma was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison for treason.

Now isn’t that an appropriate response by authorities? Someone raises a flag, so you reply in kind by violently attacking that person, then shipping him off to prison. Is that logical? No, but it sure is a good way to flex your authoritative muscles to reassert your power and to show the people they really don’t have any independence.

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