HONG KONG – Is Hong Kong nostalgic for British colonial times?

Hundreds of people turned up in front of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong earlier this week to mark China’s National Day.

They were waving red-white-and-blue colonial flags, a gesture meant to drum up support for more democracy in China, according to Liberty Times.

This new trend has been observed in recent demonstrations, according to the Hong Kong Standard.

Ever since the 1997 handover of Hong Kong sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, the Civil Human Rights Front NGO has held an annual pro-democracy rally every July 1st. These past years, more and more protesters were carrying British colonial flags.

This year has seen more flags than ever, as discontent on the island has soared for a number of reasons: from collusion between business and governmental officials, a growing disparity between the rich and the poor, and human rights and democracy issues.

In recent months, a series of incidents including the mysterious death of Li Wangyang, a Chinese pro-democracy activist and the plan to impose “Chinese patriotic lessons” in Hong Kong’s schools sparked a number of demonstrations.

According to a survey conducted in May by the University of Hong Kong, the resentment towards the Hong Kong government as well as authorities in Beijing has soared to 36% and 32% respectively, the highest since 1997.

Clashes between Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong residents have also aggravated the Hong Kong-China relations. Rich Mainland Chinese flood into Hong Kong to invest in real estate, hiking up property prices to unbelievable heights. Pregnant women from Mainland China cross the border to give birth in Hong Kong’s hospitals, so that their children can obtain the special administration region’s passport. This has contributed to the intensification of resentment against the Chinese.

It’s doubtful that Hong Kong nationals are actually attached to British colonial times. They are just showing their dissatisfaction with Chinese rule. Still, some do explicitly state that they miss the “Good old days.”

Fifteen years after the handover of Hong Kong to China, says the Epoch Times, a US-based Chinese media, “If we lived a happier, freer and more dignified life today than before, would there be so many people cherishing the memory of British rule?!”