Foreign tourist sits on monument carved with Vietnam’s national emblem

Foreign tourist sits on monument carved with Vietnam's national emblem

Lung Cu Flag Tower in Ha Giang Province in northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Lan Huong

Authorities in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang have been asked to punish a foreign man for sitting on a stele engraved with the national emblem at Lung Cu Flag Tower.

A group of foreign tourists posed for a photo last month at Lung Cu Flag Tower in Dong Van Town, which proclaims the nation’s sovereignty and is mark of national pride, Cong Ly newspaper reported.

While posing for the photo, the man sat on the monument carved with the national emblem and information about Lung Cu Flag Tower.

The photo quickly went viral, with many criticizing the man for disrespecting Vietnam.

The Ha Giang Tourism Association stepped in, calling on provincial authorities to impose fines against the man for insulting the national emblem.

Built at the summit of Rong Mountain at 1,700 meters above sea level, the octagonal monument is 33 meters tall, and on top of the tower flies a 54-square-meter flag that represents the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.

Visitors have to climb 389 stone steps, and a further 140 steps on a spiral iron staircase to get to the tower.

“Desecration of national flag, national emblem, national anthem” is a criminal offense in Vietnam, which faces a warning or a penalty of up to three years’ community sentence or 0.5 to three years’ imprisonment.