Egypt criminalizes dishonoring anthem, flag

CAIRO - Egypt's outgoing interim president issued a decree making dishonoring the Egyptian flag or not standing for the national anthem a criminal offense, punishable by sentences of up to one year in prison and a fine of more than $4,000, his spokesman said Saturday.


Presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi told reporters the decree states that the national anthem and flag are "symbols of the state that must be respected and treated with veneration."


The decree increased previously suggested penalties from late last year, which were set at a maximum six months in prison and over $700 in fines. The decree also bans raising the flag if it was torn, its color faded, or with distorted design. (AP)