Vietnam objected to an Australian coin depicting a yellow flag from the Vietnam War.
Vietnam has severely opposed Australia’s release of a coin depicting South Vietnam’s yellow flag.
Vietnam claimed the coin contradicts positive trends in bilateral relations and requested Australia to stop issuing it.
During the Vietnam War, Australia fought alongside the losing US-backed South, which resulted in the nation’s unification.
The limited edition two-dollar coin commemorated Australia’s withdrawal from Vietnam 50 years ago.
The yellow flag of the coin design is based on the ribbon colors awarded to Australian servicemen.
“We regret and vehemently protest the Royal Australian Mint’s and Australia Post’s release and distribution of items bearing the yellow flag with three stripes, the flag of a defunct regime,” said Pham Thu Hang, deputy spokeswoman for Vietnam’s foreign ministry.
The coin also depicts the late Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and a UH-1H helicopter on the reverse.
Vietnam filed the protest as it ended a five-day holiday commemorating the conclusion of the war.
The Royal Australian Mint could not be reached for comment, but it has previously stated that the currency is intended to honor those who served and died in the line of duty. Between 1962 and 1975, about 520 Australians were killed in Vietnam.
The yellow flag is a touchy subject in modern-day Vietnam. Last January, Vietnam’s national television station delayed a football match between Vietnam and Australia by ten minutes because some Australian fans brought yellow-striped flags to the stadium.