People wave the Chinese national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(HKSAR) at a pier in Tsim Sha Tsui of Hong Kong, south China, Aug. 8, 2019.(Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
HONG KONG, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- A group of Hong Kong residents gathered on Thursday morning at a pier of the Victoria Harbor to express their reverence to the Chinese national emblem and flag.
To the music of "Ode to the Motherland," they unfurled several Chinese national flags and waved banners that read "safeguarding the national dignity."
Later, they sang the national anthem of China in unison, drawing attention and acclaim from a large crowd of passers-by in a luxury shopping district in Tsim Sha Tsui of the Kowloon Peninsula.
"As Chinese, we were all saddened by recent acts of insulting the national emblem and flag," said the organizer of the gathering, who only gave his surname Lim. "We won't allow anyone to tarnish our national image."
Over the past several days, radical protesters twice removed the Chinese national flags from the flagpole at the pier and flung the flags into the water.
"A national flag represents the dignity of a country. These insulting acts drew an outpouring of anger from all Chinese," said an elderly participant named Hsui Kit Fan.
During a demonstration in July, some radical protesters besieged the building of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and defaced the national emblem.
"We were all furious over the recent incidents of insulting our national emblem and flag. These kinds of acts should never be tolerated," said another participant surnamed Wong.
Wong said many of her family members are working in the police force and she felt heartsore to see them work day and night to keep public order.
"I hope the chaotic situation will subside and we can get back to our normal days as soon as possible," she said.
In a statement issued by the participants, they called on the law enforcement agencies of Hong Kong to swiftly bring the perpetrators who insulted the national emblem and flag to justice.
"The perpetrators must face severe punishment. This is the only way to prevent the situation from getting worse," said the statement.
Over the past two months, protests in Hong Kong have escalated into a spate of violent incidents, threatening social order and endangering public safety.
Hong Kong is facing the most severe situation since its return to the motherland, said Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, on Wednesday.
"The most pressing and overriding task at present is to stop violence, end the chaos and restore order, so as to safeguard our homeland and prevent Hong Kong from sinking into an abyss," Zhang said.