[KS] "Sugi" Flag Issue

Peter Schroepfer schroepfer at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 14:26:44 EDT 2005

> However, there has been an initiative by another American, Doug Sterner, who
> runs a website dedicated primarily to Medal of Honor recipients
> (http://www.homeofheroes.com/).  He has been in contact with a U.S.
> congressman who is willing to sponsor a bill supporting the return of the
> flag to Korea.  The hurdle now is not so much in the U.S. Congress as it is
> with the Korean people.  As few people outside of military and academic
> circles in Korea know much of anything regarding the 1871 conflict, there
> has been no general call for the flag's return.

I can't imagine how the Korean people would ever be a hurdle to
anything like returning something what was pillaged from Korea's
shores, or that rekindling an issue that would for many be loaded with
anti-American undertones (to say the least) would be anything close to
difficult, although it would be nice to see the issue be an issue that
isn't written off by Korean conservatives as an mostly anti-American
one and therefore not something to be openly pursued.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but is not a replica on display at the
Kanghwa YOksagwan? I was just there last Saturday and next to the
description, which describes the original as being an a U.S. archive
(don't remember which), is a picture of it in the custody of U.S. navy
men. Unless there are _two_ flags that the U.S. took from the area and
that it currently keeps in storage somewhere, then we're talking about
the same flag. Kanghwa isn't exactly downtown Seoul or a university
campus so it isn't at the center of attention, but I have to believe
that if it really looked like it could be returned that people would
pay attention.

I would like to bring up the subject with friends in the
(vernacular!!) Korean media and I imagine many others on the KS List
might like to know: (1) at what stage would the U.S. congressman be
willing to have his name mentioned, since you haven't done so here,
and (2) what grounds are there to believe with confidence that the
U.S. Congress wouldn't be a hurdle? Has the congressman informally
surveyed his colleagues? What happens if Congress votes _against_
returning it? I don't mean to doubt your thinking but I myself would
like to hear more about why Congress wouldn't be the biggest obstacle
before encouraging a "general call for its return." Finally, (3) would
you, Doug Sterner, or perhaps even the congressman be willing to be
interviewed by the Korean media?

When (I think) I saw a replica of the flag at Kanghwa YOksagwan I
thought of your website. It would be very nice to see the flag
returned and that's why I ask so many questions.


Peter Schroepfer

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