|The new HSBC banknote must undergo revisions after a flag flap|
There's a big debate over the Hong Kong government wanting to implement a national education curriculum in schools so that young people will have a better understanding of the motherland and become better citizens.
However perhaps its the government itself that should take the course, along with senior executives at HSBC and the Monetary Authority.
You see, HSBC is in the midst of issuing new HK$100 banknotes and was ready to release them in November.
On one side of the note is a parade and in the background are the Chinese and Hong Kong flags flying in the background -- except that the petals on the Bauhinia flower are pointing clockwise and they should be pointing anti-clockwise since the flagpole is on the right.
HSBC, the Monetary Authority and the government issued a joint statement Sunday apologizing for the error which was pointed out by members of the public after the bank unveiled the new look of the HK$20, HK$50 and HK$100 notes on Friday.
"HSBC, as a note-issuing bank, has responsibility for the design of banknotes," the statement said. "The design of banknotes was reviewed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. As regards the design involving the national and regional flags, it has also been referred to the administrative wing for approval.
"The three parties had not detected the issue, we sincerely apologize for the incident."
So now it's back to the drawing board for HSBC and plans to issue the redesigned banknotes in January in time for Chinese New Year.
A spokeswoman for HSBC apologized "for the embarrassment caused to all parties concerned" and thanked the public for pointing out the error.
She would not say how much it would cost to reprint the notes or how many faulty notes were printed.
The three parties were probably so absorbed in the anti-counterfeit measures on the new bills and didn't stop to check if the flag was flying the right way.
The design of a military band parading on the banknote is a strange choice as it seems like the bank is blatantly kowtowing to China's interests. Hopefully the designers will scrap that idea and come up with something more pro Hong Kong instead.