May 16, 2023
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency has requested all e-commerce platforms to remove the sale of Australian coins bearing the flags of the now-defunct Saigon regime.
The agency told all businesses and individuals who own e-commerce websites and apps to review and remove all commemorative AUD2 coins – produced by the Australia Royal Mint to mark the 50th anniversary of Australia’s pulling out all its troops from the US-led war in Việt Nam – and other similar collectibles featuring the “yellow flag” symbol that are being sold on their platforms.
The yellow flag with red stripes in the coin design, contained in a ring surrounding a helicopter, is the medal ribbon colours awarded to Australian veterans of the forces in southern Việt Nam.
The flag was banned by the Vietnamese Government after the US-backed Republic of Việt Nam regime was defeated in 1975 and the country was reunited.
All e-commerce platforms are asked to take measures such as keyword filtering and manual human intervention to remove these items and other similar collectibles featuring the “yellow flag”.
The agency also demanded the reporting of the details of the above-mentioned actions in writing and attach an appendix with information on the shops, products/items, and keywords that have been reviewed and removed.
Deputy spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Phạm Thu Hằng earlier this month asked that Australia “take measures to stop the circulation of these items and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.”
“We regretted and absolutely protested Royal Australian Mint and Australia Post’s releases and circulation of the items containing the yellow flag with three stripes, the flag of a regime that is no longer in existence,” Hằng commented.
She also noted that the Vietnamese side has discussed the matter with Australia, adding that the issuance of the coins did not match the ongoing positive trends of the Việt Nam-Australia Strategic Partnership,
Việt Nam and Australia are enjoying thriving ties, and both countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, and the fifth anniversary of Strategic Partnership.
In response to the complaints from Việt Nam, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said in a statement: “The design of the coin reflects the colours of the ribbons of the service medals awarded to Australians who served in Việt Nam, including the Vietnam Service medal, introduced in 1968.
“The Australian Government does not recognise the flag of the former Republic of Việt Nam.” — VNS