The Singapore Police Force is currently investigating a 15-year-old teen who allegedly ripped off a pride flag outside a Hougang HDB flat on two occasions.
A police spokesperson told Mothership that the teen removed the flag on both occasions out of mischief. The police has also identified a group of youths who were involved in the incident.
Flag ripped off twice in one day
The resident of the flat, Sheni Nedumaran, told Mothership that the pride flag outside her house on the ground floor was ripped off twice on June 29.
On June 29, at about 1pm, Sheni was working from home on her bed when she heard a loud sound, followed by footsteps running away.
She looked outside and found that someone had pulled her pride flag down and tossed it on the ground. According to Sheni, the person pulled flag so hard that her windows slid open.
She ran out of her house but was unable to catch a glimpse of the culprit. So, she decided to just put the flag back up at the same position and went back to work.
However, the culprit didn't stop, coming back at 3pm on the same day to rip the flag off again. Sheni then placed the flag at a higher position and reported the incidents to the police.
Police receive report about pride flag
This was not the only incident involving Sheni's pride flag. On June 21, someone lodged a police report about the flag.
Sheni said that at around 6pm that day, police officers visited her home to inform her that a complaint had been lodged.
The police confirmed with Mothership that its officers paid visited the flat on June 21 to "assess the nature of the flag, purpose of its display and whether the flag displayed any national emblems, which may constitute an offence under the National Emblems (Control of Display) Act".
This is standard procedure in dealing with such reports, the police said.
"As there was no offence disclosed, the officer did not ask the house owner to remove the flag. Instead, the officer advised her that she may consider removing the flag if she wished. This was with consideration that the flag was displayed in a prominent manner and prone to mischief as it was on the ground floor."
However, in her conversation with Mothership, Sheni said that the police officers should have started off their visit by assuring her that she did not do anything wrong or illegal by displaying her pride flag.
During their conversation on June 21, she had to clarify at least twice if she had done anything illegal and if it was okay for her to keep her flag up.
For now, because Sheni and her family are worried that the vandals might return, they are taking extra precautions to safeguard their house, like locking their front door.
Top image via Sheni Nedumaran.