Last modified: 2002-03-15 by phil nelson
Keywords: macau | china | portugal | lotus | star |
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by Antonio Martins
Macao adopted a flag this year prior to re-integration into China on 20 December 1999. The flag is light green with a white lotus above a stylised bridge and water and beneath an arc of five stars: one large and four smaller as on the flag of China. Source: Flagmaster no. 80. Note that the colour of the stars isn't mentioned.
Mark Sensen, 27 December 1995
I have recently returned from a trip to China that included a visit to Macau, the Portuguese enclave that will revert to China in 1999. I saw (...) a green flag which had a stylized lotus flower in white in the centre of the flag. This flag was flying on every Macanese registered ship in the Macau harbour. The green and white flag was flying near the middle of each ship. The Portuguese flag flew from the stern of each.
Brian Johnston, 17 November 1996
On March 8, 1998, the Xinhua news agency (China) ran a feature on the designer of the Macao flag. The flag selected to represent Macao after its re-integration into China was designed by Xiao Hong, a professor of arts and crafts at the Henan University. Xiao's entry was just one of over 1,000 considered for the new design. Xiao designed the flag after reading a 600-word tourist guide on Macao. The design was further improved before being approved in 1993. It was not until three years after the flag was adopted that he virst visited Macao. A deputy in the Henan 163-member delegation to the ninth National People's Congress (NPC), he became one of the more popular members when the lawmakers learned of his role designing the flag. He expects to be present at the ceremonies when Macao becomes a part of China where his flag will play an important part of the occassion.
Jan Oskar Engene, 09 March 1998
The Portuguese flags where lowered on November 19 in Macao, replaced by Chinese ones. The ceremonies where not very long, but they where very symmetrical.
It all happened in a pavillion specially built for the occasion. Inside there was a vast stage with a tribune in the background and two speaker's platforms and 4 flag poles in the foreground. It was a very symmetrical ceremony: in the viewer's right it was the "Portuguese sector" with everything (and everybody) Portuguese in it, and in the left the "Chinese sector" with the vice-versa.
Behind the tribune there was a wall where were hanging two big national flags: Portugal in the viwer's right, China in the viewer's left. The speaker's platforms where also identified by national symbols, this time the COAs. In the case of the Portuguese COA, is was the minor arms (therefore without laurel and scroll) on a green background, which is unusual.
The poles where sophisticated: despite the sceremony being held indoors, the flags flew through a system that blows air through the interior of the pole. Interesting that the flags only begin flying when they reach the very top of the pole, just hanging sadly in the rest of the "travel" along the pole.
The poles where, as I said, 4: two in the viewer's left and two in the viewer's right. The two poles closer to the center where higher than those at the sides. The difference was about one meter or something similar. Those where the poles where the national flags flew Those at the sides where used to fly the "municipal" flag of Macao under Portuguese administration, that is, the flag of the Leal Senado and the flag of the Special Autonomous Region.
In the beginning only the Portuguese flags flew. And the ceremony begun. First, entered 3 members of the military forces of each country, the Portuguese empty-handed and the Chinese carrying the Chinese national flag, immediately followed by 3 members of the security forces (i. e., police) of each country, again the Portuguese empty-handed and the Chinese carrying
the flag of the SAR. Later on, when local midnight approached, the Portuguese flag and the flag of the city of Macao where lowered simultaneously under the sounds of the Portuguese national anthem. After midnight, the Chinese flag and the new flag of Macao where hoisted also simultaneously and also under the sounds of the Chinese anthem. Only after that, the Portuguese flags where folded and carried away by the military and security people in a mirror image of what happened previously when the Chinese flags arrived.
Jorge Candeias, 19 November 1999