Keelung City school in Taiwan apologises and recalls yearbooks with Chinese Flag on cover

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2nd June 2023 – (Taipei) A high school in Keelung City has apologised and recalled its senior yearbooks after students and teachers expressed outrage over the inclusion of the Chinese flag on the cover. Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University‘s 75th senior yearbook showed a ship flying a Chinese flag in the background, which was deemed inappropriate by many.

School Secretary Cheng Ying-hung explained that the school had commissioned a printer to produce the yearbook and presented three versions to the senior class representatives. However, they did not notice the flag on the cover due to the low resolution and small size of the images. The school distributed the yearbook to students on May 24, but reports of inappropriate content on the cover surfaced the next day.

The printer agreed to recycle all the books and design a new version with a banner containing the school’s emblem instead of the Chinese flag. The new version would be sent to the students before their graduation ceremony on 1st June, and the printer also promised to reprint about 300 copies and absorb all the costs. The school apologised for the trouble caused to students, parents, and society, and promised to establish a standard procedure for printing yearbooks in the future.

Keelung Mayor Hsieh Kuo-liang also voiced his disapproval of the Chinese flag’s inclusion on the yearbook cover and called for the books to be recalled. He emphasised the need for schools to avoid inflaming cross-strait tensions and to promote harmony and understanding between Taiwan and China.