Soon after the National Police announced that they would be conducting an investigation into the presence of an Indonesian flag modified to include Arabic writing at a recent Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) rally, images of other modified Indonesian flags from years past have been resurfaced by FPI supporters who argue the issue is not being treated equally in the eyes of the law (any modifications to the flag being technically illegal).
One of the examples being brought up was a flag featured at legendary heavy metal band Metallica’s concert in Jakarta on August 2013. Reports say that, at the time, the band held up an Indonesian flag that featured the band’s logo and the writing “Solo – Indonesia” which they received from the audience – the flag presumably belonging to a fan club in the Central Java city.
Some netizens are calling for the incident to be investigated, which prompted the authorities to open the possibility of looking into the 3-year-old incident.
“We operate based on formal reports. Later we’ll look into it (the Metallica case),” said Jakarta Metro Police Spokesman Argo Yuwono, as quoted by Republika today.
In addition to Metallica, fellow heavy metal rockers Dream Theater also held up a modified Indonesian flag that featured their band’s logo during their Jakarta concert in 2014. Netizens are calling for the authorities to investigate that incident as well.
It’s true that both of the flags held up by Metallica and Dream Theater were modified, hence whoever modified the flags did indeed break the law. But for these incidents to be dug up from the past do not undermine the fact that the most recent flag modification incidents, which were allegedly committed by Islamic protesters, were also violations of the law.
Perhaps the reason why nobody made a fuss about Metallica and Dream Theater holding up modified flags at the time is because nobody thought that they want to overthrow the Indonesian government and replace it with a heavy metalocracy.
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