ive people in Hong Kong now face punishment after being taken into custody for allegedly “colluding to insult China’s national flag.”
The insult, in this case, was chucking the flag into Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour from a Tsim Sha Tsui flagpole during a demonstration earlier this month.
The image of the national flag being defiled in such a soggy manner ignited anger across mainland China with state media launching a “1.4 billion flag-bearers” campaign that gained the support of millions, including numerous Hong and Chinese stars like Jackie Chan.
It also prompted Hong Kong’s former leader, CY Leung, to offer an HK$1 million reward for information leading to the capture of the protesters responsible. It’s unclear if Leung will have to pay up.
On Thursday, Hong Kong police announced that four men and one woman, aged between 20 to 22, had been detained over the incident.
Desecrating or insulting China’s national flag or emblem is a crime in Hong Kong, punishable by up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of HK$50,000 ($6,300).