VIETNAMESE FLAG CEREMONY - Mitch Perry06/28/04
Yesterday morning in Tampa, hundreds of local Vietnamese gathered in a ceremony where the City of Tampa officially recognized The emblem of South Vietnam- the heritage and Freedom Flag - as the official symbol of the Vietnamese-American community.
In 1975, communist forces of North Vietnam won VietnamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Civil War and adopted the Community PartyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s red flag with a yellow star as the official emblem of the nation. But for millions of South Vietnamese who fled the nation, they have never accepted the Communist flag.
Vuong Dem Vu is the Chairman of the Vietnamese-American Mutual Association of Tampa Bay..He says the Official City Council resolution sponsored by Councilmember Kevin White, and yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ceremonies, are quite meaningful for members of the Vietnamese-American community (roll tape#1 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?to usÃ¢â‚¬?)
Tampa now becomes the latest American community to support a resolution recognizing the old South Vietnamese flag. Again, Voung Vu (roll tape#2 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?for whole stateÃ¢â‚¬?)
The 63 year old Vu and his 3 children came to the U.S. in 1995, 20 years after the end of the War, and the same year that the U.S officially recognized the Communist regime. That was also the year the U.S. recognized the Communist flag. Vu survived 6 years in a labor camp after Saigon fell to the Communists (roll tape#3 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?the crownÃ¢â‚¬?)
There are approximately 6,000 Vietnamese -Americans who reside in Tampa, and an estimated 17,000 in the Tampa Bay Area.