Egypt opens probe over textbook flag

The fifth grade book displays the tricolour flag without its eagle emblem

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Egypt opens probe over textbook flagThe fifth grade book displays the tricolour flag without its eagle emblem

Cairo: Egyptian authorities have started a probe over distortion of the national flag in a primary school book, education officials said on Friday.

The probe was ordered after an outcry on social media triggered by the appearance of the flag without its distinctive golden eagle in the Arabic-language textbook taught to fifth graders in the country.

“Those behind this mistake have been referred to for questioning,” a spokesman for Education Ministry Ahmad Khairy said in a statement without details

Reda Hejazy, a senior education official, said that the inquiry would include officials who had reviewed and cleared the book for printing.

“Instructions have been made to all education directorates to correct the error,” he added.

In a lesson entitled ‘Love of the Homeland’ in the book, an accompanying image features Egyptian soldiers raising the national flag of the red, white and black colours, but with its eagle, usually centred in the white band, being absent.

The row comes amid a surge of nationalism in the country that has experienced deadly militant attacks since the army’s 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi, following enormous protests against his divisive rule.

In 2014, interim president Adly Mansour ratified a law punishing disrespect to the national flag by a fine of 30,000 Egyptian pounds (Dh6,250) and up to one year in prison.


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