Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Misplaced Patriotism by the Singapore Waterpolo Team

The trunks sported by Singapore's water polo team at the Asian Games are causing red faces back home, with many embarrassed by their design. Singapore government reprimanded its national men's water polo team for wearing swim trunks that feature an "inappropriate" likeness of the nation's flag. The government deemed the banana hammocks "inappropriate," and some of its citizens found them "disgusting," "nauseating," and "disgraceful." The trunks, which were designed by members of the men's team, debuted by the team while competing in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, show the flag's white crescent moon jutting up from the groin area with five stars to the side on a red background. Basically a curved phallus with five stars on speedos.

But Asian Games rules stipulate that a team's uniform cannot be changed in the middle of the tournament. "Unfortunately the team did not seek our advice on the use of the crescent moon and stars when they designed their swim trunks," the Information Ministry said in a statement last week. "We would have told them that their design is inappropriate as we want elements of the flag to be treated with dignity." The ministry, which normally evaluates the use of the flag on uniforms on a case-by-case basis, declined to specify which part of the design was objectionable. The team apologized and said it would retire the trunks after the Asian Games.

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