[Above - GOING FLAG OUT: A blowhorn was sounded at 10.45am on July 4 in Sembawang, where 1,045 national flags were displayed simultaneously.]
BY PAMELA CHOW
FOR its 45th birthday celebration this year, Singapore will be cloaked in the colours of the national flag - red and white.
The National Day Parade (NDP) executive committee is holding a "Fly Our Flag" campaign to have the flag displayed on vehicles and buildings in the month leading up to Aug 9.
Public-transport operator SMRT will hoist 4,500 car flags at 100 locations, including train stations and bus interchanges, as well as on its buses and taxis.
Twelve of its "Bendy" buses - long buses that bend in the middle - will each be wrapped in a flag decal.
Lampposts lining 16 streets, mostly in the city area, such as Nicoll Highway, Beach Road and Shenton Way, will also be decked with NDP banners.
In the heartland, grassroots leaders are marshalling residents to display flags at HDB blocks. For example, 1,045 households in Sembawang displayed their flags together at the same time last week, while jumbo flags are on show at the Pinnacle@Duxton in Cantonment Road.
Seven plots of state land in the city will soon fly the nation's colours as well. On Thursday, tertiary students will dress up the plots, as part of a competition titled City Colours.
Members of the public will have a chance to join in the display of national colours too.
They can collect some of the 120,000 car flags and decals being given out this month, from petrol kiosks run by petrol companies Shell, Esso and SPC.
Collar pins bearing the flag in five designs will be handed out at information counters at Changi Airport's arrival and departure areas.
The NDP executive committee's chairman, Colonel Benedict Lim, hopes that Singapore will "be painted over by a sea of red, white, crescent and stars, as the whole nation gears up to celebrate National Day", to rally the sense of patriotism and belonging in people.
To further build up the spirit of NDP, SMRT will air this year's NDP theme song, Song For Singapore by home-grown singer-songwriter Corrine May, at its stations, bus interchanges and Xchanges.
It will increase the number of trains running on the North-South and East-West lines by 13 per cent on National Day, compared to last year, to ferry crowds to and from the Padang area, where the NDP will be held.
More trains will also be running on the Circle Line.
SMRT will also deploy additional staff to facilitate passenger flow at key MRT stations near the Padang, said its spokesman.
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