The Flag Bill was first introduced on the first day of the 2009 - 2010 Parliamentary session. The idea of a flag representing the Imperial Republic of AH.Com had previously been a plank in the Escutcheonist Party platform and had been tossed around at least once on the Flag Thread. In Parliament the issue was first broached by Ryder as Minister of Information, and lothaw wrote and sponsored the Bill presented to Parliament.
The bill called for the creation of a committee to oversee the process of creating a flag. The committee would select finalists from an open vexillological competition, and the official flag would be selected from among the finalists via public referendum. Some discussion centered on the makeup of the Flag Committee, including some proposed amendments dictating that committee seats be divided among the parties, but ultimately lothaw's original bill was the one voted upon. Stalin's Pipe Organs drafted and introduced an amended version requiring all designs to have a hammer and sickle; this version received no support.
Shortly after the Flag Bill was introduced, the Military Bill, Direct Democracy Bill, Term Limits Bill, and Appointee Confirmation Bill were brought before Parliament in quick succession and became the subject of intense debate, ultimately leading to the Parliamentary Brawl of 2009. In that climate, a number of “Nay” votes and one abstention were cast on the grounds that the “flag issue” was frivolous compared with Parliament's other pressing business. Ultimately, the Flag Bill was shelved as part of the 24-hour recess following the Brawl.
Vice-President LightInfa reintroduced the Flag Bill in its original language immediately following the recess. This time, in the less contentious post-Brawl climate, it passed without a single Nay vote or abstention. President TheDarkServant signed it into law together with the Imperial Arms Bill on August 20, 2009.
Executing the Bill
After a week of rather fruitless debate on some failed bills and some issues (such as Presidential Titles) that never made it to bill form, Susano and, some days later, maverick reminded the Parliament that the Flag Committee had yet to be chosen. On August 29, Susano finally included a Flag Committee in the 1st Commitees Bill of 2009, which also addressed military hardware purchases. The committee included Krall (BWS) to represent EVIL's coalition, Benkarnell (ESP) to represent FFF's coaliton, Maharajah because it was deemed appropriate to represent an additional ESP member who was a Landsraad member to boot, and The Red, Minister of Propaganda.
OAM47, as Minister of Employment, opened and presided over the AH.com Flag Selection Contest, a flag contest in the Books and Media forum. The contest was open for submissions between September 2 and 14. The Flag Committee, predictably, has yet to meet, much less select finalists and devise a means for voting on them. Maharajah has proposed a suitably labrynthian method for weeding out entries, but other Committee members have not commented on it.
WHEREAS the Imperial Republic of AH.com is lacking both a symbol and standard.
BE IT ENACTED that a public request shall be put forth to the citizens of AH.com to create an appropriate standard.
BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that a Committee from the Parliament shall select an appropriate number of finalists.
BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that a public referendum open to all citzen's of AH.com shall vote for the Imperial Republic standard of AH.com.
Douglas (E) (1)
lothaw (E), maverick (E), Patriot (E), Paladin (E), Krall (BWS), Jimbrock (FFF), Susano (FFF), Don Giorgio (FFF), Benkarnell (ESP), ImperialVienna (ESP), Iori (DISPPR), Communist Wizard (BBP), Stalin's Pipe Organs (PRSP), oakvale (Ind) (14)
Douglas (E) submitted an Aye vote after the bill had already been signed into law.