The National .. er, Jewels
The boys of the Singapore national water polo team caused a bit of a stir – in more ways than one, I’d wager – when they debuted their new speedos at the recent Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. The controversy ? Apparently, some enterprising soul among them had the brilliant idea of utilizing the stars and crescent of the national flag (below) for the new design, which produced a rather suggestive result – especially in the case of the upright crescent.
And in case anyone’s curious, that symbol – and it’s a waxing moon – represents a “young nation on the ascendant”.
No one’s doubting the potential there for objects to ascend, I’m sure.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone saw the design in a positive light. The online edition of the Straits Times published portions of a communiqué from the government which made official disapprobation quite clear:
In response to media queries, Ms Carol Tan, Director of Resilience and Marketing Division, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, issued this statement on Wednesday night:.
‘Unfortunately, the team did not seek our advice on the use of the crescent moon and stars when they designed their swim trunks.
We would have told them that their design is inappropriate as we want elements of the Flag to be treated with dignity. This is because many Singaporeans recognise these elements as representing the Singapore Flag.
We have spoken with SSC and was informed that the team is apologetic and had meant no disrespect. We understand that under competition rules, they may have difficulty switching to another set of trunks for their match tomorrow.
We wish them well and hope that they will do Singapore proud tomorrow’.
As far as I’m concerned though, those wonderful red speedos are nothing if not patriotic. The sight of them certainly provoked a mari kita in my crotch …