It is the time of year again for flag displays to go up, and people in Singapore are getting creative for the nation's 50th birthday.
Residents' Committee (RC) members and volunteers have spent months creating and putting up their displays in time for National Day celebrations.
It took about 200 volunteers nine months of planning and assembling to create the two-storey-high display that went up two weeks ago at the Kim Tian West RC Centre.
The flag is made with more than 2,000 recycled plastic bags shaped to look like flowers, some of which were used in this year's Chingay parade.
Besides the flag, residents in the area have also created other displays using recycled bottle caps, CDs and water bottles, as well as a photo album using pictures contributed by residents.
Madam Chow Hoy Fong, 58, vice-chairman of the Kim Tian West RC, said: "This year is very meaningful. We are creating more structures so that more residents can be involved."
Ms Irene Chia, 60, a volunteer who has helped with National Day displays for the past six years, said that Kim Tian West RC members wanted to do something different from other RCs this year. She said: "We hoped to make it grand."
Elsewhere, between blocks 504 and 505 in Choa Chu Kang Street 51 hangs a Merlion spouting water. It is made out of aluminium foil and other recycled objects.
It took members and other residents of Yew Tee Zone 4 RC 21/2 months to create their first 3D display. Residents as old as 80 rallied together to hang the display over the course of two days.
Madam Lee Kek Nee, 47, assistant secretary of Yew Tee Zone 4 RC, said: "Initially we thought of doing only the Merlion's head, but then we decided to make it bigger for SG50.
"This is something I look forward to every year. You can really see the community of residents come out and help."
Over at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, between blocks 107 and 109, more than 60 flags spelling out the number 50 billow in the wind.
Toa Payoh North Zone 2 RC chairman Henry Ong, 53, and three other RC members spent a week hanging the flags, and used two different types of rope to ensure that they would not tear.
"After we put up our display, we noticed more flags at the blocks. It's like a signal to the other residents," he said.
Guidelines for use of national flag
The National Heritage Board (NHB) has been receiving more than the usual number of queries about using the national flag.
One reason is that more people want to include the flag in the designs of banners, decals and other items in celebration of SG50.
While people are encouraged to use the flag creatively, there are some guidelines that must be followed.
Here are some of the dos and don'ts according to NHB:
•Ensure that the flag is used respectfully at all times.
•The flag is to be reproduced in its true colours and form, at a length to breadth ratio of 3:2.
•When displayed in Singapore, be sure that the flag is positioned above or to the left of all other flags, as seen by a person facing the flags.
•Superimpose any graphics or words over the flag.
•Depict the flag below any other emblem or logo.
•Use the flag for any commercial or advertising purpose without the NHB's prior written approval.
•Dispose of the flag by throwing it into the rubbish chute/dustbin. Torn or worn-out flags should be packed into a sealed black trash bag before disposal.
•Allow any part of the flag to touch the ground.
During the National Day celebrations period from July 1 to Sept 30 each year, some rules are relaxed.
For instance, the flag need not be displayed from a flagpole or be illuminated through the night.
Mini flags can also be displayed on vehicles.
For the full guidelines, go to http://nhb.gov.sg/resources/ national-symbols/national- flag or the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Rules at http://statutes.agc. gov.sg.
This article was first published on Aug 04, 2015. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.