Fourteen years this week, Britain handed Hong Kong over to China.
It’s summer and rather than go into an academic look at the Handover, I thought it’d be fun to show a couple ways Hong Kong changed after July 1, 1997.
For instance, this flag was lowered that night:
And this is what replaced it:
The flower is a bauhinia and the color red represents–what else–China!
All things royal went by the wayside back then, too. The post offices took down their portraits of a youngish Queen Elizabeth. And most of the Queen Elizabeth post boxes, which looked like this (although most were, ironically, red):
were replaced by boxes like these (which aren’t red!) even before the Handover:
As for Hong Kong’s political system, China has promised it’ll allow the territory to remain as is for the first 50 years post-Handover. China calls this one country, two systems. So we’re approaching year 14 this week. Only time will tell what Hong Kong (and China) will look like 36 years from now.
And for a little personal reflection, this is where I spent much of my time in Hong Kong back in 1997:
Back to 50 years of one country, two systems. Later this week I’ll be giving away a fabulous collection of fiction, essays, and poetry I was honored to contribute to several years ago. This book looks into Hong Kong’s chances 50 years post-Handover. So stay tuned.
Until then, I’d love to hear your memories of the Handover, whether you were in Hong Kong in 1997 or elsewhere.