Writer: Loraine Ong
Editor: Janice Fan
What is Flag Day to you?
For many of us, we do not see the scenes beyond the day of flagging. Well, do you know that preparations done by the Flag Committee started about 2 months before the actual day? The effort they put in behind the scenes is somewhat, sadly, unnoticed. But all thanks to them, we got the very creative welfare pack items of light soy sauce, cans of baked beans, food vouchers, biscuits and also some plain and flavoured drinks. Seeking to make Flag Day an organized event, the committee also grouped flaggers according to the blocks they stay in and sent them out to various destinations around Singapore to flag. Be it Woodlands, Pasir Ris, Raffles Place or Jurong, we KEVIIans were there from 7am till 7pm!
Being a group leader, I had to ensure that the needs of our members were being met. Not only that, we group leaders were also the points of communication between the flaggers assigned under us and the headquarters (HQ) from KEVII. “How’s the situation over there in Serangoon? Do you need more manpower? We can make arrangements to send more people there,” Kenny called from the HQ. I felt that we were on an important mission; the HQ would have sent another herd of KEVIIans to my ‘rescue’ if I had said “yes!”. I did not ask for more manpower though, because my proactive group members were handling the crowd just fine.
We met different types of Singaporeans throughout our whole day of flagging. There were those who gave generously as well as those who made great efforts by taking a longer route just to avoid us. I admit, I also avoid flaggers on the streets even after many episodes of being a flagger myself. The reason? I do not really know. I am not a stingy person, so the act of donating should not be it. Perhaps it is because we humans are naturally shy. I have an example to back me up: one of my clients of the recent flag day actually told me that he was “shy” to come up to me to donate. Evidently, he was relieved when I approached him for a donation, and a dollar note from him went into my tin can!
So Flag Day is really not easy. It is not enough to simply stand for hours after hours, holding the increasingly heavy cans; we need to be proactive and ask for the donations! Still, we do it year after year, simply because of the sense of satisfaction that gushes in at the end of the day. If you were to ask me if I flagged for charity, KE7 or my CD block, my answer would be: All of them.
Photos by: Zhang Jiyuan