The National Anthem Ordinance came into effect on 12 June 2020. It provides for the playing and singing of the national anthem; and for the protection and promotion of the national anthem in Hong Kong. The preamble of the National Anthem Ordinance of Hong Kong stipulates that the national anthem is a symbol and sign of the People’s Republic of China. All individuals and organizations should respect the national anthem, preserve the dignity of the national anthem, and play and sing the national anthem on appropriate occasions.
The Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress passed the Law of the People’s Republic of China on National Anthem (“National Anthem Law”) on 1 September 2017, and added the National Anthem Law to Annex III to the Basic Law on November 4 in the same year. According to Article 18 of the Basic Law, the national laws listed in Annex III to the Basic Law shall be applied locally by way of promulgation or legislation by the HKSAR. Having regard to the common law system practised in Hong Kong, as well as the actual circumstances in Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government decided to implement the National Anthem Law in the HKSAR by local legislation. Upon passage by the Legislative Council, the National Anthem Ordinance came into effect on 12 June 2020.
Standard and Etiquette for Playing and Singing the National Anthem
Section 3 of the National Anthem Ordinance stipulates that the national anthem must be played and sung in a way that is in keeping with its dignity. While the national anthem is being played and sung, the etiquette to be followed by the persons who take part in or attend the occasion is—
to stand solemnly and deport themselves with dignity; and
to not behave in a way disrespectful to the national anthem.
Protection of the National Anthem
The offences stipulated in the National Anthem Ordinance concern the misuse of the national anthem, or public and intentional acts with an intent to insult the national anthem.