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importantly, should we still expect more from our student representatives regarding the issue? The answer, I believe, is an unequivocal, yes. I believe that while Rag and Flag should continue to feature in the school’s annual Orientation calendar, proposals to further improve the status quo must be considered.

After having conversations with key student representatives in NUS, and conducting brief research on the background of Rag and Flag, I hope that this article will enrich discourse – one that, it appears, has been blighted by misinformation and hearsay – about the conduct of the events. For such a controversial topic, it is tempting to make snap judgements. However, as far as possible, for each question

A new limit was introduced for the construction of each float: $3,000 will be in the form of cash, with $7,000 of sponsored gifts. To encourage fund-raising, the floats will be judged in conjunction with the total flag sums raised by students. Having expressed the desire for the “rag” component to have equal weightage as the “flag” part of the event, the six student hostels announced they would withdraw from the Rag and Flag competition, “in the hope of reducing inter-hall rivalry and increasing unity among themselves”. The NUS Rag and Flag Day float procession was non-competitive. The most expensive float cost $2,000, and the event also yielded combined efforts by two hostels – a first in Rag and Flag’s history. A $7 float in the parade also drew applause and praise from the audience.



Before, I launch into the discussion, I must emphasise

that I bear full responsibility for the perspectives articulated in this commentary.



When The Straits Times penned that the 2012 version of Rag and Flag had “gone back to its roots”, what exactly are these “roots” (beyond the cursory

Four out of nine faculties opted out of the float parade, but some went ahead with the performances without the float. Money intended for the construction of the float was invested in different community projects and initiatives.

In the past, flag-sellers would accompany the procession of floats, cajoling and soliciting donations from passers-by for a good cause. However, with worries over road safety and general public order, this practice has been discouraged. The link between the rag and flag elements appears more “tenuous”. Environmental friendliness and cost savings featured in the judging criteria for the competition, with an award for the cheapest constructed float. The $3,000 cash-limit for sponsorship will now include materials too.

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I pose, I first provide the facts and figures for the reader to form his or her own opinions. In particular, the info-graphics on the history and expenditure of Rag and Flag should prove to be interesting and compelling. Thereafter, I suggest specific solutions that, I argue, should be the way forward for Rag and Flag.


The RIDGE - March 2013 Issue  

March 2013 issue of THE RIDGE - the largest student-run magazine in the National University of Singapore

The RIDGE - March 2013 Issue  

March 2013 issue of THE RIDGE - the largest student-run magazine in the National University of Singapore