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Myanmar rebrands

Mong Palatino at Global Voices reports onMyanmar’s new flag and new name.

Here’s the old flag:

Myanmar's old flag

Here’s the new flag:

Myanmar's new flag

Hard not to agree with the anonymous comment that the new one looks like it was done with Microsoft Paint. And it’s very hard to know (especially from my safe vantage point far removed from Myanmar’s repressive regime) why they think the new one is better than the old one, although one of the comments cited at Global Voices points out that the old flag used the U.S. colors.

According to a Reuter’s article quoted by James Bow, “The order stipulated that the old flag had to be lowered by someone born on a Tuesday and the new flag had to be raised by someone born on a Wednesday, he said.” Ah, when astrolgers run countries.

Equally puzzling, at least to me, is the military junta’s decision to change the country’s name from Union of Myanmar to Republic of the Union of Myanmar in advance of the November 7 Parliamentary elections (which will keep the military in power). Why not just go whole hog and rename the place The Free Democratic Republic Union of Myanmar and Picayune-Times Express?

Except that Myanmar is no laughing matter.

2 Responses to “Myanmar rebrands”

  1. when you consider the ways in which the (eight) days of the week in myanmar are intertwined with naming and many other cultural practices there, the tuesday/wednesday thing — in and of itself* — isn’t as crazy as it sounds here without any context. also, it’s not clear from the translation whether the people who are supposed to raise the new flag are those born on wednesday or those born on wednesday evening (the extra wednesday is how you get to eight days in a week).

    *by which i mean that, even with more context (i.e. that astrology plays important roles in the culture which predate the junta), i still think the junta consists of a bunch of shut-in weirdos, consulting astrologers (though probably not joan quigley) from their isolated new capital city.

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