The San Jose City Council in California unanimously voted to ban the communist Vietnamese flag from being displayed from city flag poles, reports the Mercury News.
Tears flowed in the council chamber after the highly charged vote that seemed to divide the city’s 100,000 Vietnamese Americans along generational lines.
The older generation which fled the war torn country after the communist took over vehemently supported banning the flag which they say was a reminder of a painful past.
Younger members of the community look to the flag as a source of pride and identity.
“We speak up on behalf of those who have lost their lives,” said San Jose resident Khanh V. Doan, a U.S. Army veteran. “Please do not allow that bloody flag to exist in this city. It is our nightmare.”
Others pointed to the country’s first amendment as a reason to oppose the ban.
“Many of us hate the communist regime but we are here to defend the American ideas,” said San Jose resident Long Le. “Will you ban the flag of Mexico next? Cuba? We do not support the communist flag but we support keeping San Jose free.”
The measure was proposed by city council member Tam Nguyen.
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