A file photo shows honor guards preparing to raise the Taiwanese flag in the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Square in Taipei. Photo: Getty Images

Taiwan’s Kuomintang party ruled the island for the better part of half a century before being displaced by the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. Now the KMT looks to rekindle patriotism and the Chinese identity among the island’s electorate in a big “double ten” National Day bash on October 10.

The KMT announced it would throw a Republic of China-themed party to rekindle patriotism with the tagline “Love Your National Flag, Love Your Country.”

KMT bigwigs including former defense minister Wu Shih-wen told the island’s semi-official Central News Agency that they must take a tough stand against the trend to shun the ROC flag and other national symbols now that President Tsai Ing-wen of the DPP was bent on a “de-Sinicization” drive.

The event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, where an estimated 20,000 people are expected to sing the national anthem and pay tribute to Chiang Kai-shek, a founder of the KMT and later of the ROC.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou and former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-pin are tipped to campaign for KMT candidates in the upcoming Taipei mayoral election and other regional elections throughout the island next month.

The KMT has been taking potshots at Tsai’s reluctance to refer to Taiwan by its official name, the Republic of China, since localism and obliterating the Chinese symbols and identity have long been part of the DPP’s stated manifesto.

Some hardcore DPP members were never enamored with the ROC flag as it contains the KMT emblem in the upper left corner.

Taiwanese students studying in Hong Kong show the ROC flag during a rally. Photo: Handout

There have been rumors that Tsai may be mulling a referendum proposal to change the name of the de facto nation and its flag and anthem as well.

Recently, however, Tsai has toned down her rhetoric, perhaps mindful of a backlash from KMT supporters.

The electorate on the island is almost evenly divided between pro-KMT voters who prefer maintaining the status quo and resisting independence and those who want the Chinese culture and identity to be eradicated so as to go independent.

Read more: Taiwan urged to call itself Taiwan, not Republic of China

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