U.S. court rules Chinese association must restore Taiwan flag

U.S. court rules Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association must restore Taiwan flag in its office

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Taiwan flag.

Taiwan flag. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A US district court of appeal in California has handed down a final ruling against the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) for its removal of the Taiwan flag from its office, because it violated the organization's own rules, announced the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) yesterday (March 2).

On Feb. 25, the court ruled against an appeal of a previous ruling that the organization must restore the Taiwan flag in its office, because its prior decision to take it down in favor of the flag of Communist China did not meet the organization's own rules. On March 1, the plaintiff, the Sue Hing Benevolent Association in San Francisco, held a press conference to announce its victory in the appeal court.

Yesterday, the OCAC expressed its gratitude to the Sue Hing Benevolent Association for its efforts over the years to maintain the "inherent historical status" of the Taiwan flag in the office of the CCBA. The council said that this also "affirmed the support of Overseas Compatriots for Taiwan."

The OCAC pointed out that the campaign to remove the Taiwan flag was led by CCBA President Ted Win Wong on May 24, 2013. On that day, Wong called for a vote among the board of directors of CCBA on the removal of the Taiwan flag, resulting in a 21-20 decision to replace the Taiwan flag with the banner of Communist China.

However, the Sue Hing Benevolent Association filed suit on the grounds that the decision was made without receiving the required two-thirds majority.

On July 25, 2016, a U.S. district court of appeal in San Francisco ruled in favor of the Sue Hing Benevolent Association that the decision indeed contravened the organization's rules governing board members, and therefore must return the Taiwan flag inside the association's office. However, pro-China members of the association refused to accept the verdict and filed for an appeal, which has since been rejected.