While we wait for the votes to be counted, here are some of the flags that I have collected this year. Handheld flags are a completely different animal than the big flags that hang outdoors. The latter are basically billboards. They make impersonal statements to large numbers of people. Handheld flags are much more personal. They have two main purposes. First, most are handed out at rallies, and they help people to participate. It is much easier to wave a flag than to wave an empty hand. When someone makes a good point or yells “frozen garlic,” you can shake your flag wildly back at them. And once you are physically engaged, you listen more carefully and are more likely to do something even more participatory, such as yell your approval. In short, a rally of 5000 people with flags in their hands is going to be much more passionate than the same exact rally of 5000 people without flags. Second, you can take the flag home with you, where it serves as a reminder and a connection to the candidate. If you want to tell guests who you support, you can put it out in the open and nothing confrontational needs to be said. You can let children play with it so that they think your favorite party is fun and awesome. Handheld flags are a great value for a very limited expenditure.
You will note that there are more DPP flags than KMT flags in my collection this year. Lots of KMT candidates who I asked for flags told me they didn’t print any this year. I can only shake my head at this decision.
Here are the seven rainbow flags from Ko Wen-je’s march last weekend. I’m not sure if this is all of them or if there was an eighth color that I am missing. Personally, I prefer flags with the candidate’s name proudly emblazoned on them.
Here are the mayors and magistrates. Note the absence of any Ko Wen-je or Eric Chu flag. Ko proudly announced he was running a “different” campaign and wouldn’t print flags. (Pay no attention to the previous picture.) Chu apparently didn’t have to bother with campaigning, since his office didn’t have any flags when I dropped by. I suspect he eventually got around to printing some, though.
Here are my flags from New Taipei City. The top row is the three DPP candidates from Zhonghe District.
These are the four city council main candidates from Taichung 10. Only three can win. The teddy bear may be in danger.
Taipei City city council candidates. I really dislike the tall, narrow flags on the right. They are a terrible shape for waving at rallies.
This is the everything else category. I found a couple others in my car later on. Sorry Chung Hsiao-ping 鍾小平 and Chen Yi-chou 陳義洲.
Maybe this is the most appropriate way to show them. Elections are supposed to be a little chaotic.
And now I will put them away, with only a few going out on display in my private museum.