SINGAPORE: The national flag may be displayed with immediate effect until Sep 30, when the period marking National Day celebrations ends, said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) on Saturday (Apr 25).
In a media release, MCCY said this was in response to requests from members of the public, who were keen to display the national flag "as a demonstration of unity and solidarity with others in society, even as we may be physically apart" during the COVID-19 "circuit breaker".
The circuit breaker period, which aims to break the cycle of transmission of COVID-19, was scheduled to end on May 4 but will now last until Jun 1. During this time, all non-essential workplaces will remain closed and residents are required to stay home except to buy food and exercise alone.
"With the President's assent, the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Rules have been amended to permit the display of the flag without a flagpole and illumination from Apr 25, 2020 to Jun 30, 2020.
"This brings forward the period in which the flag may be displayed and will continue into the usual National Day celebrations period from Jul 1 to Sep 30," said the ministry.
In a Facebook post, President Halimah Yacob said she was "heartened by the desire of Singaporeans to show our solidarity" and confirmed that she has supported the Government's proposal for the initiative.
"The days ahead will remain challenging for a while, as we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus. However, I am confident with our collective courage and tenacity, we will be able to pull through this together. I am proud to see our fellow Singaporeans working hard at the frontline, helping one another and managing challenges to stay at home for Singapore.
"Like it did during our early years of independence, I am certain that our flag will inspire the best from us. So let us stay united as we overcome this pandemic together and emerge stronger as one people," said President Halimah.
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Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu also said described Singaporeans' desire to rally around the national flag as "heartening".
"It is also a call for us to work together and stand resilient in the face of a crisis like this. This exemplifies the Singapore Together spirit," she said.
In its media release, MCCY noted that the flag, as a national symbol, should continue to be treated with respect, and used in an appropriate and dignified manner.
"Torn or worn-out flags should be not be displayed and should be packed into a sealed black trash bag before being disposed of," said the ministry.