Netizens Slam ROC Flag on 'Not Chinese Taipei' Football Shirt

Netizens Slam ROC Flag on 'Not Chinese Taipei' Football Shirt
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

Some Netizens are accusing fashion brand S.H In Taiwan of ignorance over a 'sensitive' political issue.

A new football shirt design launched by Taiwan fashion brand S.H In Taiwan on Aug. 14 has sparked controversy.

The design concept is “let the world know our country is Taiwan, not Chinese Taipei,” according to the company. However, the design has been criticized by netizens for incorporating the Republic of China (ROC) flag.

The idea for the jersey came from the Chinese Taipei team uniform at the 2016 Olympic Games. The shirt features the words “Chinese Taipei” — Taiwan's official desgination at the Olympics and other international sporting events — with a red line crossing those words out and “Taiwan” written next to it. An additional badge, also using the pattern of the ROC flag and which can be added to the shirt, has also engendered criticism.

A netizen said that if the design aimed to rectify the name of Taiwan, then the ROC flag should not have been used. Another netizen said S.H In Taiwan should have done more research before designing a product with "political ideology."

In response to the criticism, Jack Chan (詹明璋), brand director of S.H In Taiwan, said a statement on the company's official Facebook page on Aug. 22 that the reason for launching the brand was to introduce Taiwan to the world, and therefore the company frequently uses Taiwan-related patterns in its designs.

Chan said the idea of using the flag was debated among the design team, but since the product was aiming to modify the Chinese Taipei uniform, the ROC flag pattern should be retained.

He said that rectifying the name of Taiwan has been a longstanding issue for Taiwanese. However, he thought using the ROC flag might offer more possibilities for the world to see and learn about Taiwan.

Some netizens disagree with his statement and have criticized Chan for his treatment of the "sensitive" political issue.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: Edward White