March 12, 2003
Garden Grove flag vote cheered
Little Saigon residents hail council's adoption of South Vietnamese banner.
By Katherine Nguyen
GARDEN GROVE (The Orange County Register) - This city Tuesday became the second
in Orange County to make the South Vietnamese flag the official flag of the
The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the resolution, drawing cheers
and shouts of "Thank you!" from about 100 spectators.
"The (South Vietnamese) flag is how we want to be represented as the Vietnamese-
American community," said Xuan T. Vu of the Vietnamese American Public Affairs
Committee, who had urged Councilman Mark Rosen to introduce the resolution.
The South Vietnamese flag, yellow with three horizontal red stripes, has been
flown in Orange County's Little Saigon since the Vietnamese refugees fled
Community activists say the current national flag of Vietnam, red with a yellow
star in the center, has long been abhorred as a symbol of communist rule.
Westminster adopted the South Vietnamese flag in February. Inspired by the
recent failure of a similar proposal in Virginia, Little Saigon leaders say they
hope to gain momentum for statewide recognition of the South Vietnamese flag.
Garden Grove and Westminster are home to Orange County's largest Vietnamese
After receiving formal complaints from the Vietnamese government, the U.S. State
Department frowned upon the attempt in Virginia to display only the South
Vietnamese flag at official functions. The State Department cited concerns about
the bill's constitutionality and interference in diplomatic affairs.
Rosen said the Garden Grove resolution differs from Westminster's, which
contained strong words condemning the communist government.
Four speakers asked the council to make the American flag the official flag of
the Vietnamese American community.
"This is America, not Vietnam," Carolyn Baxter said. "They came here for a home.
They should accept an American flag."
But, said Mindy Nguyen, "There's a simple reason why we support having the South
Vietnamese flag: It symbolizes freedom.