PLC Paper No. 202/96-97
Paper for the House Committee Meeting
on 10 May 1997
Legal Adviser's Report on
National Flag and National Emblem Bill and
Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Bill
Objects of the Bills
The Bills make separate but similar provisions for the use and protection of the national flag and emblem and of the regional flag and emblem respectively.
Provisional Legislative Council Brief Reference
2.CE/15/7(C) issued by the Chief Executive's Office and dated 1 May 1997, together with Attachments A to E (Chinese version only).
Date of First Reading
3.3 May 1997.
4.The National Flag and National Emblem Bill (the first Bill) seeks to localise the Law on the National Flag of the People's Republic of China (1990), the Law on the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (1991) and specifications for the national flag and emblem as promulgated in 1949 and 1950 respectively.
5.These two laws are made subsequent to the Basic Law and are therefore not among those national laws to be applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) under its Annex III. The only national laws relating to the national flag and emblem that the Basic Law requires to be applied in the HKSAR are -
- Resolution on the Capital, Calendar, National Anthem and National Flag of the People's Republic of China; and
- Order on the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China Proclaimed by the Central People's Government (with attachments on Design of the national emblem, notes of explanation and instructions for use).
6.According to the PLC Brief, the Resolution and the Order will be implemented by promulgation by the Chief Executive on 1 July 1997.
7.The Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Bill implements by legislation the Provisional Arrangements on the Use of the Regional Flag and the Regional Emblem of the HKSAR endorsed by the Preparatory Committee on 10 August 1996. It also makes provisions for the use and protection of the regional flag and emblem similar to those contained in the first Bill.
8.A comparable piece of existing legislation is the Colony Armorial Bearings (Protection) Ordinance (Cap. 315) (which will cease to have effect after 30 June 1997). That Ordinance prohibits the unauthorised making, displaying in public, sale or use of copies of the Colony Armorial Bearings.
9.In comparison, the two Bills contain comprehensive provisions on the specifications, manufacture, use and protection of the national and regional flags and emblems and are intended to reflect the relevant legislation in the mainland.
10.Members would have to consider whether the principles and details of the policies contained in the Bills should be scrutinized so as to better understand and more accurately assess their effect. If Members do feel such a need, they should consider setting up one Bills Committee to study both bills.
11.Legal Adviser will report further to Members (or to the Bills Committee, if formed) after seeking clarification on some aspects of the Bills with the Chief Executive's Office.
CHEUNG Ping-kam, Arthur
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
7 May 1997