Samut Prakan Police ‘Invited’ Residents to Attend Flag Raising

Police officers attend the morning flag-raising ceremony in Uthai Thani province on May 28, 2019.

BANGKOK — A police station in Samut Prakan province sought to encourage local residents to attend the daily flag-raising ceremony alongside the officers, an initiative described by a police spokesman as a way to instill a sense of patriotism.

However, the spokesman also said the order has now been withdrawn, citing “miscommunication.” His move came after the document issued by Samut Prakan City Police Station went viral on social media last week, drawing much ridicule and criticism.

According to the letter, which was posted on Facebook, each police officer on patrol duty was told to invite two residents they’re familiar with to join the National Flag raising ceremony at the police station. The ceremony takes place at 8am every morning, as in all public venues.

The project was supposed to come into effect on Oct. 15, the letter said.

But police spokesman Yingyot Themchamnong told reporters on Saturday that the station has since canceled its invitation, due to “miscommunication,” but did not elaborate.

However, Pol. Maj. Yingyot insisted the program was created out of a goodwill to encourage public participation in police work, and to instill “love for the Nation, Religions, and Monarchy.”

Attending the flag-raising ceremony would also allow local residents to learn about important announcements from the police and feel that their neighborhood is safe, Yingyot said.

He did not say whether the initiative would make a return in the future.