Why is there a question as to which flag to use?

The Laotian Heritage and Freedom flag

1. Why is there a question as to which flag to use?

  • No doubt about it, the United States flag, the Stars and Stripes, is the official flag that represents all citizens of the United States of America, including Americans of Laotian descent.
  • As the United States is among the most free and democratic countries in the world, its citizen have the liberty to use other symbols, crests, and flags to represent their group, organization, club or ethnic/cultural heritage.
  • This is about representation and the Laotian American community is making a conscious choice to be represented by a flag symbol that is more meaningful to their Laotian heritage.

2. Why can’t Laotian Americans use the current flag of Laos Communist?

  • Over the past 30 years, many schools, universities and local municipalities have displayed flags to represent the diversity that exists in their population. Unfortunately, they display the current flag of Laos Communist and Laotian Americans object to this because hundreds of thousands of Laotian lost their lives and families not only in the war, but also at fleeing the LPDR through the fierce travels in the bordering Thailand Mekong river and rugged mountains in their struggles to seek freedom and escape from the retribution of the Laotian Communist Government, by which the current flag represents.
  • Laos Communist today continues to have a deplorable human rights record because of the draconian policies of the Laotian Communist Government. In recent months, the Laotian Communist Government has arrested and detained many individuals who speak up and advocate reform–many of whom are also members of the Laos Communist Party.

3. What does the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag mean to the Laotian American community?

  • Dating back to 1949 (before the existence of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic), this flag has a long history in Laos and is a symbol of resilience, freedom, and a yearning for democracy that is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the Laotian Americans. So long as the current Laotian Communist Government continues their totalitarian rule without respect for civil and human rights, Laotian Americans will practice their Constitutional rights of expression by choosing the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag (Elephant Flag) to represent our Laotian heritage and as a symbol of freedom for our community.

4. Why should the all Town in Massachusetts formally recognize the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag?

  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to nearly 25,000 Laotian Americans (Lao, Hmong, Mien(Yao), and etc…) who have made positive contributions to Commonwealth of Massachusetts through taxes, business establishment, and cultural enrichment.
    According to the official Massachusetts state website, the commonwealth promise is nothing less than the future and promise of America. To be sure it has a Commonwealth context, and there is nothing separating its citizens from the dreams and hopes and aspirations of all the American people in their collective struggle to create a decent, fair, and secure republic. Acknowledging the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag will not only honor Laotian Americans freedom of choice and expression, but it will also help transform these words into a progressive humane gesture for all United States to follow.

5. Why should local municipalities recognize the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag?

  • Laotian Americans are your residents, taxpayers and constituents. We ask that you recognize our contribution by respecting how we would prefer to be represented.

6. Why is the current Laos Communist Government currently imposing their will to have their communistic flag used for personal Laotian American activity throughout so many municipalities?

  • Laotian Americans believe that the current Laos Communist Government does not have a say or a right to tell how Laotian Americans should be represented. We live in a democratic society in which our civil and human rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution and all its institutions. The Laos communist are entitled to their way of thinking but have no right to infringe upon the rights of Laotian Americans. The Laos Communist Government does not represent the Laotian American community in the United States. A recent example of this is of a pre Laos communistic error Colonel funeral where the communistic flag was used when he had nothing but the utmost disdain for the current Laos communistic regime. This funeral was recently held in May 2004, Lowell Massachusetts. It must be remembered that the only reason why we Laotian Americans exist is because of the current Laos communistic rule which we are political refuges of. As we fought side by side with U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam war and secret war in Laos from 1961 to 1975.

7. Does the recognition of the Heritage flag violate any U.S. laws or treaties?

  • No. The recognition of the Laotian Heritage flag is the recognition of the voice of the Laotian American community. Who are voicing their opinions on how they choose to be represented in their lives as Laotian American citizens. When a flag is flown to represent our contribution to the United States of America, we would like to choose the Laotian Heritage flag..

8. Does the recognition of the Laotian Heritage flag mean that U.S. States and local municipalities recognize the former Royal Government of Laos?

  • No, the Royal government of Laos no longer exists and we accept that reality. The recognition of the Laotian Heritage flag is recognition of the dear values held close to the hearts of Laotian American community. We fled communistic Laos to live freely and to be able to openly express ourselves here in the United States.

9. Would there be any financial impact to the local economy if the flag is recognized?

  • No fiscal impact to local or state budget.
  • Copyright © 2004-2010 Laos Institute for Democracy. All rights reserved
  • Posted by Lao Heritage Flag at 8:09 PM



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