Emirates Bans Taiwanese Flag on Crew Uniforms

May 30, 2017

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Update 05/31/2017: Emirates has released a public statement claiming that yesterday’s email was sent in error. The airline went on to explain that the request to remove pins is part of its uniform update, and that all crew members are now not required to wear a flag pin as part of their uniform.


Emirates Airline is known for having flight crews representing a multitude of nations on board its flights. Up until now, flight attendants from Taiwan were able to display the Taiwanese flag pin on their uniforms. Now, however, that policy has changed — it appears that the Chinese government has demanded that Emirates force all crew members to remove Taiwanese flags. Per One Mile At a Time, Emirates originally sent an email demanding that crew members replace the Taiwanese flag pins with Chinese flags. However, it’s since sent a follow-up email saying that while Taiwanese flags aren’t acceptable, no flag is required.

In the emails, the airline says it’s now required to comply with the ‘One China’ policy, which maintains that Taiwan is a rogue province of China that will eventually be reunited with mainland China in the future. Under the policy, nations seeking diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (a.k.a China) can’t have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, though many nations, including the US, have unofficial relationships with the Taiwanese government.

It appears that this policy applies to every Emirates flight, rather than just flights originating or arriving in China. Also, it’s interesting to see how the airline was so quick to comply with a request that many will view as highly controversial. With all the financial woes Emirates has been facing lately, you have to wonder if the Chinese government drove a hard bargain to get the airline to agree to its request.

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