What’s your favorite color? Mine’s red. According to Rankopedia it’s the number two fave in the world, after blue.
In Taipei recently, as a participant in the third Taiwan-Indonesia Dialogue, held from Sept. 19-20, I noticed that Taiwan’s flag is red with a blue canton bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays. They call it Blue Sky, White Sun and Wholly Red Earth. Dramatic name!
Indonesia’s flag has a much less dramatic appellation. It’s called Sang Saka Merah Putih — The Red-and-White Flag — because it has those two colors (duh!), symbolizing courage and purity.
But although Taiwan and Indonesia share red in their flags, their relationship is more like … gray. I don’t think many people choose gray as their favorite color, but it seems to work well for Indonesia and Taiwan.
Why gray? Because the relationship is fraught with ambiguities a...