TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has ordered the nation's schools and government agencies to lower the national flag at half-staff for the next three days to express condolences over the passing of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) said Tsai has given the order to lower flags across the country for three days, starting at noon on Friday (July 31). It added that all public schools and government agencies should comply with the Half-mast Implementation Regulations and raise the flag all the way before flying it at half-staff, reported Yahoo News.
According to the regulations, the Taiwan president can decide to lower the national flag following the death of individuals with "special, outstanding, or significant contribution" to the country.
At a press conference on Friday, Presidential Office spokesperson Huang Chung-yen (黃重諺) revealed that Lee's memorial will be held at the Taipei Guest House. He said Taiwanese will be allowed to visit the venue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily starting Saturday (Aug 1) to express their condolences and gratitude for the late president.
Meanwhile, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) lowered the U.S. flag to half-staff at its office in Taipei's Neihu District Friday morning. It described Lee as the key political figure in transforming Taiwan into a "beacon of freedom and democracy" and said his legacy will be remembered.
Hailed as Taiwan's "Mr. Democracy," Lee contributed significantly to the country's smooth transition from autocratic rule to democracy. He became Taiwan's first democratically elected president in March 1996 and helped lay the foundation of the nation's friendships with Japan and the U.S. during his 12-year tenure.