About

“Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man”

– President Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1984.

“Those of us who fought under his conservative banner back then need to stand up and make ourselves heard again today.”

–As President Reagan said in his second inaugural address on a freezing day in January 1985.

(( “If not us, who?

If not now, when?”))

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My father and other forum members’ fathers, parents and relatives have served the former regime with dignity and integrity because they are Lao patriots like anyone of us. Now, most of them are dead and they cannot defend themselves against your accusations.

My question to you is why do you have to so angry against them now? Do you know under what circumstances and limitations they had to work with? What kind of the external forces were exerted on them and at the whole region? Come on…It is easy to be a Monday quarterback. ..

Frankly, I just don’t understand why after watching just one documentary film give the right to insult their memory as you did. We are where we are because we choose to. Nobody pointed the gun to our head to leave Laos before.

If things are so good now, why some of us choose to live outside of Laos? What kind of points you want to gain to spit on their graves like you did?

Remember without them, there won’t be you today.

I’m sure that we can move forward without spitting on our past. There is no need for this kind of flame throwing.

I’m truly disappointed at your uncontrolled outburst. I thought you have more character than this.

OP

Thanks to OP

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Saying goodbye to a Hmong hero, and he should be to us too.

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Barack Obama's hands

With each passing year, the internet is transforming the way we interact with our governments and the people who run our lives.

From 15 March, Chris Vallance looks at the many ways participation is changing our relationship with people in power

Since the communist seized control of Laos over 30 year ago to today, (December 2nd 1975 to July 4th, 2009) more than half a million Lao citizens were forced to leave their homeland and were camped in major refuge camps in Thailand: Nongkhai, Napho, Ubon, Sikiu etc.; hundred thousands more have perished in the re-education camps; hundred thousands more were unable to swim across the Mekong River and hundred of thousands more are still being held without charge or trials. I left Laos 27 years ago and fortunately found my way to America as a political refugee to begin a new life in United State of America. No longer is it safe for me to go back home (native Laos) because I of my political activeness in the U.S. I am considered and enemy of the current communistic regime in Laos. I am proud to be supportive of democracy and human rights movements in Laos. However, I never forget where I came from, and I will not go back to surrender to Laos Communist. Since Laos was loss to the Communist, Laos has been loss as well. The one thing symbolic hope we have left now is the three-Headed-White Elephant flag. It will stay with us forever.

The flag championed by free Laotian everywhere was flown for the first time at a ceremony marking the official recognition by France of Laotian unity and independence. The three-Headed-White Elephant flag continued to be the official flag of the Kingdom of Laos, which was recognized by the United Nations (1957), until December 1975.

The Laotian Heritage and Freedom flag

INTRODUCTION

Like the American’s Stars and Stripes flag, the Laotian Heritage and Freedom flag is laden with symbolism and historical meaning, which makes Laotian Americans feel a great emotional bond with its “colors.”

Laos was called the Land of Million Elephant. From 1960 to 1973 the United States now documents that a secret war occurred in Laos where hundreds of thousands of people were killed as control for Laos was thought after as it was considered one of the most important areas that was protecting Southeast Asia to become communist. If Laos was loss to communism, it was thought that many countries in Southeast Asia would also become communist including Thailand, Malaysia, Philippine, and Indonesia, etc. Laos shares a border with all other countries in the region, with Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west, and Myanmar and China’s Yunnan province to the north. Laos is the key to the region, similar to that of the Germany’s Berlin Wall that was protect communist to flows to the west.

As the Laotian National flag displaying “three head white elephant on a red background” fluttering proudly against the blue sky. The colors shown are that of a free Laos. It is the flag under which hundreds of thousands of Laotian and Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder and died for, defending freedom against an internationally inspired and communist led aggressive war against the Kingdom of Laos. The war ended in 1975 in the subjugation of Laos in no way reflects negatively on the symbolism of those “colors.” In fact, the very survival of that flag is the survival of the idea of freedom, which remains the ideal of all free men on earth.

SYMBOLISM

The Laotian Heritage and Freedom flag has a red background the width of which is equal to two thirds of its length. In the middle of the background a three headed elephant on top of a stand with an umbrella (or parasol) on top. This old flag was used during the monarchial times.

The three headed elephant image is Buddhist/Hindu in origin – it’s called Airavata (or Erawan in Thai & Cambodia). The elephant has always been a symbol of greatness, wisdom and as a vehicle of transportation.

Many former Lao kings prized these huge elephant beasts, especially the light color/albino breeds. To this day, the current Lao government still keeps a few for special occasions and celebrations. The three headed mythic elephant symbol had the same number as there were principalities in the country. Thus the three heads came to represent the former small kingdoms of Vientiane, Luangprabang, and Champasak.

The umbrella also has certain meanings. In Sri Lanka and India, Buddhist temples were in the shape of huge domes and on top of the dome there would be a small umbrella (or parasol) surrounded by square railings. The highest point of the dome or pillar, in this case, the umbrella represents the Buddhist cosmological myth of Mt. Meru being the center of the universe. The stand on which the elephant is standing on represents the laws of the country/kingdom. The flag’s red color background represents the color of blood flowing through the human body, symbolic of Laos’s unflagging struggle for independence throughout its recorded history.

HISTORICAL IDENTITY

As Laotian flag bonds Laotian Americans with their historical past: The identity of the “ERAWAN” (Three Headed White Elephant) has help to inspire the Laotian people to survive as a nation even after a millennium of Chinese and French domination. Thus, the “Three Headed White Elephant” flag came to be irrevocably associated with the Laotian people, their national territory, and their history.

Since the communist seized control of Laos over 35 year ago to today, (December 2nd 1975 to July 4th, 2010) more than half a million Lao citizens were forced to leave their homeland and were camped in major refuge camps in Thailand: Nongkhai, Napho, Ubon, Sikiu etc.; hundred thousands more have perished in the re-education camps; hundred thousands more were unable to swim across the Mekong River and hundred of thousands more are still being held without charge or trials. I left Laos 29 years ago and fortunately found my way to America as a political refugee to begin a new life in United State of America. No longer is it safe for me to go back home (native Laos) because I of my political activeness in the U.S. I am considered and enemy of the current communistic regime in Laos. I am proud to be supportive of democracy and human rights movements in Laos. However, I never forget where I came from, and I will not go back to surrender to Laos Communist. Since Laos was loss to the Communist, Laos has been loss as well. The one thing symbolic hope we have left now is the three-Headed-White Elephant flag. It will stay with us forever.

The flag championed by free Laotian everywhere was flown for the first time at a ceremony marking the official recognition by France of Laotian unity and independence. The three-Headed-White Elephant flag continued to be the official flag of the Kingdom of Laos, which was recognized by the United Nations (1957), until December 1975.

A CHOICE OF HOPE AND LOVE OF FREEDOM

To Laotian Americans, the Laos Communist flag is a reminder of death. It is flag full of blood where a million and half Laotian lives have been sacrificed for the war-mongering goals of the Lao Revolutionary Party (or Laos Communist). Some 300,000 civilians were shot and some buried alive, and over 100,000 religious leaders and political prisoners have been executed in “re-education” camps since 1975.

Most Laotian Americans, having fled persecution and reprisals, find the display of the “Laos Communist” flag insulting, offensive, and culturally insensitive. It is like flying the swastika flag of Nazi Germany in the presence of Jewish-Americans.

The choice of the Laotian flag affects Laotian and Americans alike. Over 1000 Americans laid down their lives in the Laos secrete war for a noble cause – the cause of freedom and democracy. Witness the “Laotian freedom as it is” flag proudly hoisted at the Arlington National cemetery in Virginia on Memorial Day. It is the same flag that decorates the medals on the chests of millions of Laotian and American veterans of the Laos War. At least 300,000 Laotian (Lowland Lao and Laotian ethnic Hmong) “Freedom Fighter who fought side by side with Americans during the Laos War” died on the high mountain of starvation and drowning in Mekong River, in their attempt to flee communist persecution. For the half million Laotian who have fled communist totalitarianism since 1975 and have successfully settled in United States of America “the Land of the Free”, the Laotian heritage and freedom flag will always be a symbol of hope, love and freedom. It is the banner around which all free Laotian identify themselves with and rally –as it represents the dream of a free Laos.

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Posted by Khampoua Naovarangsy at 8:33 PM

Why is there a question as to which flag to use?

The Laotian Heritage and Freedom flag

1. Why is there a question as to which flag to use?


  • No doubt about it, the United States flag, the Stars and Stripes, is the official flag that represents all citizens of the United States of America, including Americans of Laotian descent.
  • As the United States is among the most free and democratic countries in the world, its citizen have the liberty to use other symbols, crests, and flags to represent their group, organization, club or ethnic/cultural heritage.
  • This is about representation and the Laotian American community is making a conscious choice to be represented by a flag symbol that is more meaningful to their Laotian heritage.

2. Why can’t Laotian Americans use the current flag of Laos Communist?

  • Over the past 30 years, many schools, universities and local municipalities have displayed flags to represent the diversity that exists in their population. Unfortunately, they display the current flag of Laos Communist and Laotian Americans object to this because hundreds of thousands of Laotian lost their lives and families not only in the war, but also at fleeing the LPDR through the fierce travels in the bordering Thailand Mekong river and rugged mountains in their struggles to seek freedom and escape from the retribution of the Laotian Communist Government, by which the current flag represents.
  • Laos Communist today continues to have a deplorable human rights record because of the draconian policies of the Laotian Communist Government. In recent months, the Laotian Communist Government has arrested and detained many individuals who speak up and advocate reform–many of whom are also members of the Laos Communist Party.

3. What does the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag mean to the Laotian American community?

  • Dating back to 1949 (before the existence of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic), this flag has a long history in Laos and is a symbol of resilience, freedom, and a yearning for democracy that is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the Laotian Americans. So long as the current Laotian Communist Government continues their totalitarian rule without respect for civil and human rights, Laotian Americans will practice their Constitutional rights of expression by choosing the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag (Elephant Flag) to represent our Laotian heritage and as a symbol of freedom for our community.

4. Why should the all Town in Massachusetts formally recognize the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag?

  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to nearly 25,000 Laotian Americans (Lao, Hmong, Mien(Yao), and etc…) who have made positive contributions to Commonwealth of Massachusetts through taxes, business establishment, and cultural enrichment.
    According to the official Massachusetts state website, the commonwealth promise is nothing less than the future and promise of America. To be sure it has a Commonwealth context, and there is nothing separating its citizens from the dreams and hopes and aspirations of all the American people in their collective struggle to create a decent, fair, and secure republic. Acknowledging the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag will not only honor Laotian Americans freedom of choice and expression, but it will also help transform these words into a progressive humane gesture for all United States to follow.

5. Why should local municipalities recognize the Laotian Freedom and Heritage Flag?

  • Laotian Americans are your residents, taxpayers and constituents. We ask that you recognize our contribution by respecting how we would prefer to be represented.

6. Why is the current Laos Communist Government currently imposing their will to have their communistic flag used for personal Laotian American activity throughout so many municipalities?

  • Laotian Americans believe that the current Laos Communist Government does not have a say or a right to tell how Laotian Americans should be represented. We live in a democratic society in which our civil and human rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution and all its institutions. The Laos communist are entitled to their way of thinking but have no right to infringe upon the rights of Laotian Americans. The Laos Communist Government does not represent the Laotian American community in the United States. A recent example of this is of a pre Laos communistic error Colonel funeral where the communistic flag was used when he had nothing but the utmost disdain for the current Laos communistic regime. This funeral was recently held in May 2004, Lowell Massachusetts. It must be remembered that the only reason why we Laotian Americans exist is because of the current Laos communistic rule which we are political refuges of. As we fought side by side with U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam war and secret war in Laos from 1961 to 1975.

7. Does the recognition of the Heritage flag violate any U.S. laws or treaties?

  • No. The recognition of the Laotian Heritage flag is the recognition of the voice of the Laotian American community. Who are voicing their opinions on how they choose to be represented in their lives as Laotian American citizens. When a flag is flown to represent our contribution to the United States of America, we would like to choose the Laotian Heritage flag..

8. Does the recognition of the Laotian Heritage flag mean that U.S. States and local municipalities recognize the former Royal Government of Laos?

  • No, the Royal government of Laos no longer exists and we accept that reality. The recognition of the Laotian Heritage flag is recognition of the dear values held close to the hearts of Laotian American community. We fled communistic Laos to live freely and to be able to openly express ourselves here in the United States.

9. Would there be any financial impact to the local economy if the flag is recognized?

  • No fiscal impact to local or state budget.
  • Copyright © 2004-2010 Laos Institute for Democracy. All rights reserved
  • Posted by Khampoua Naovarangsy at 8:09 PM

7 Comments to “About”

  1. This site is crazy.

  2. I Jean,

    Information from my Blog will not be enough for you to bring a case together. But you have to be careful about Lao PDR (Communist Government), they are everywhere and Thailand Government is behind them too (because all projected were from Thailand. I do not know who you are? But, if you are planing to do what is you say, you have to be careful even MCR still afraid of them. Please let me know if you want help about Blog’s post. Thanks

  3. Hi Sir,

    You can use your Thai language. It will be OK for everyone. Thanks for your comment.

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