U.S. court rules against overseas group's removal of ROC flag

San Francisco, July 27 (CNA) A U.S. district court of appeal in San Francisco has handed down a ruling against an overseas Chinese association in the city over its removal of the national flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from its office in 2013 to show the end of their support for the ROC government.

Chief Justice Rebecca A. Wiseman said in a written statement that the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) in San Francisco should replace the ROC flag in its office.

The ruling was made on the grounds that CCBA President Ted Win Wong forced the passage of the resolution to get rid of the flag during a board of directors' meeting in May 2013, in violation of the organization's rules governing board members, because the resolution failed to get the required number of votes from the board members for approval.

The attorney representing the plaintiff said that the ruling marks a victory for the plaintiff because the reasons given in opposition to the removal of the flag have all been received by the court.

The written ruling is expected to be issued in the next two weeks. The dispute surfaced after the CCBA announced on its website May 25, 2013 that it had succeeded in a 21-20 vote to get rid of the ROC flag and instead to display the U.S. and Chinese national flags.

Founded in 1854, the CCBA, composed of seven overseas Chinese groups, like many other similar groups in the United States, offered great assistance to Sun Yat-sen's revolution to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and have long supported the ROC government.

However, those groups have gradually backed off from maintaining close relations with Taiwan ever since Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1978 and Taiwan's promotion of "localization," according to diplomatic sources.

Harrison Lim, a board member of the CCBA, said that currently, none of the 55 CCBA board members are from Taiwan and most of the new board members are from China, with a declining number of old overseas Chinese compatriots. He expressed concern that if a vote is held, a resolution to get rid of the ROC flag could be easily passed with the approval of a two-thirds majority of its directors. (By Chang Ke-yi and Evelyn Kao)