President mandates standing for national anthem and respecting flag

President Adly Mansour issued a new decree on Saturday stating that the Egyptian flag and national anthem are state symbols and must be respected.

The decree is among the last few to be issued by Mansour in his final days as holder of legislative and executive power before soon to be president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s swearing in next week.

The law stipulates a maximum punishment of one year in prison and LE30,000 for “desecrating the flag.”

It also mandates that the flag be raised in all educational institutions that fall under the jurisdiction of the state and that the national anthem is performed every morning, during which those present have to stand.

The use of the flag in trademark slogans is prohibited under the new law.

An inflated sense of nationalism has been propagated in the media and expressed by a large portion of the population since the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power last July. With a wave of terrorist attacks and the Muslim Brotherhood considered a threat to national security, several laws have been issued concerning internal and external threats.

Among the most controversial of these laws is the new Protest Law, issued by Mansour last November, imposing severe restrictions on the right of assembly and requiring prior police approval for all demonstrations.

On Thursday, Mansour issued another decree reversing 52 pardons that former President Mohamed Morsi had issued for Islamist convicts.


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