Statement by Canadian-born Vietnamese youth

Shameful ceremony held on Parliament Hill, July 30, 2020 to mark “Journey to Freedom Day.”

By ANDY TRAN

I am a Canadian-born Vietnamese youth. My parents fled southern Vietnam in the early 1980s. My parents raised me to believe that the three-striped flag of South Vietnam was the only genuine flag of Vietnam. South Vietnam, the puppet regime of the United States raised from 1955-1975 to resist our people’s revolutionary movement, was the only genuine Vietnam to them.

For a long time, I didn’t understand this conflict. I didn’t know why my family hated the one-star flag of Vietnam so much. I didn’t know why all the pagodas we attended flew this flag when the official flag of Vietnam is something different.

Now, having studied the history of my people and our long struggle for freedom, I understand why that three-stripe flag is flown here in Canada. I understand which people fly it, and why. That flag represents a class of Vietnamese who benefitted more from the U.S. puppet regime of South Vietnam than [they would from] a country built upon principles of independence, sovereignty, and a socialist perspective.

Those people quickly fled when the tide turned against them, and here they are now, fifty years after losing the war, flying the flag of a failed U.S. puppet regime that barely benefitted them compared to the horrors it ravaged against the masses of our people.

The fact that the three-stripe flag of the failed U.S. puppet regime is being flown in Canada’s capital city doesn’t surprise me. It does outrage me, as does the one-sided narrative that justifies ceremonies like the Journey to Freedom Day. I find it two-faced and shameful for Canada to openly promote a division among my people while at the same time benefitting from its political and economic relationship with Vietnam. My people deserve the unity we fought for, and we deserve for our history to be shown truthfully. We deserve our flag.

Vietnam’s official flag is proudly raised on National Reunification Day on April 30, 2020 at the historic site Hien Luong-Ben Hai.

Andy Tran is a member of the Toronto Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines. He can be contacted at info@c-vfs.com.

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