A BILL prohibiting desecration of national and regional flags and emblems was passed by the interim body yesterday. Under the bill, two levels of penalty will be introduced for any offence by which the regional flag and emblem is publicly and wilfully burnt, mutilated, scrawled on or trampled. One year's jail and a $10,000 fine will be applied to any offender in less serious cases convicted in summary trial at magistrates' courts. Offenders convicted on indictment are liable to a fine of $50,000 and three years' jail, the same as for desecrating the national flag and emblem. Michael Suen Ming-yeung, secretary for policy co-ordination, said the two-level package was balanced. 'The proposal on one hand preserves the respect for the regional flag and emblem, while on the other takes into consideration that China and the SAR are of different levels,' he said. Members had been divided over whether the penalty for desecrating the regional flag and emblem was too severe. The draft bill had proposed the same maximum penalties for desecrating the national and regional flags and emblems.