Misuse of Philippine flag as barber capes at basketball event

March 19, 2019 - 1:49 PM
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Philippine flag as capes
A barber apologized after representations of the Philippine flag with additional designs were used as barber capes in a basketball-related event. (Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos)

A member of the National Filipino Barbers Association apologized after social media users slammed him for using a resemblance of the Philippine flag as capes, violating the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.

Barber Jayr Mallari said that the group’s intention was to use their platform as a means “to express pride in and raise awareness” of the Filipino heritage by highlighting the national flag’s design.

“It was not our intent to offend or inadvertently disrespect any of our fellow Filipinos or our country in any way,” his statement reads.

“Our vision is to use the art of barbering as an instrument to build up and unify Filipinos across the world and will use the utmost care and diligence in respectfully expressing our admiration for the Filipino culture and our country,” Mallari continued.

The barber said that barbers group will no longer use the flag capes in the wake of the criticisms.

‘Battle of the Barbers’

The National Basketball Association on March 10, Sunday celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Golden State Warriors’ Filipino Heritage Night in Oakland, where patrons were given free haircuts by NFBA.

The event was part of Tanduay USA’s “Battle of the Barbers,” a pregame for the back-to-back match between NBA Champions Golden State Warriors and the visiting Phoenix Suns.

Barbers gave haircuts to fans that featured different designs such as the Warriors and Tanduay logos.

Social media users, however, called out the Philippine flag barber capes as disrespectful.

In July 2018, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines similarly criticized an online store for using elements and the image of the Philippine flag for unauthorized purposes.

The Flag and Heraldic Code 

As a representation of the nation and its identity, the Philippine flag is protected by the Republic Act 8491 or the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.”

It dictates that proper respect and reverence must be given to the flag that embodies “national ideals and traditions and which express the principles of sovereignty and national solidarity.”

The law prohibits the flag from being used as “trademarks or for industrial, commercial or agricultural labels or designs.”

It must not be worn “in whole or in part as a costume or uniform” or to be used as a “drapery, festoon or tablecloth.”

Furthermore, no word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawings, advertisements or any imprints must be added on the flag’s design.

It is also unlawful to “print, paint or attach representation of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and other articles of merchandise” and for it to be used as a “display or be part of any advertisement of infomercial.” — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos