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She’s a Grand Old Flag

Two French Tourists Held Briefly by Bali Police After Converting an Indonesian Flag into a Welcome Banner

(8/19/2012) Two female French tourists committed a patriotic faux pas at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, just 3 days before Indonesian Independence day, narrowly escaping a serious run in with the law.

Kompas.com report that Pauline Yvonne Aline (23) and Motte Julie Mercedes Livia (23) were briefly taken into custody by airport police under suspicion that that they had desecrated the Indonesian flag.

The two young women were apprehended at 9:20 pm when they were discovered to be holding an Indonesian flag just purchased from a roadside vendor on which they had written the word “Sebah” – the name of a young male friend, also known as Bastian, arriving on an AirAsia 1366 from Kuala Lumpur, in order to fashion a welcoming banner.

The Indonesian flag was draped by the women near the arrival area of the airport where a number of people, offended by the defacement of the national flag, reported the women to airport police.

Defacing the Indonesian flag is a criminal offense under Indonesian law.

Police, who concluded insufficient evidence was in hand to prefer formal charges. released the women.