People who defile national or post-handover Macau flags face jail terms under a new law. The legislation, passed on Monday, comes into force on December 20, the day after the territory's handover to China. Anyone defiling or defacing China's national flag or national emblems will face a term of up to three years; the punishment for the same offence involving the flag and emblems of the Macau special administrative region will be two years in prison. In Hong Kong - where a similar law came into effect on July 1, 1997 - the same offence attracts a maximum three years and a fine of $50,000 for both sets of flags and emblems. Macau's law is based on Paragraph 6 of Annex III of the Macau Basic Law, which covers the legal validity of China's national law in Macau after the handover. It includes the Law on the National Flag of the People's Republic of China. The new legislation is also based on Macau's Penal Code, enacted by the outgoing Portuguese administration in 1995. Article 302 of the Penal Code provides for up to two years' imprisonment for the 'insult by words, gestures or public communication of or lack of respect for' Macau's flag or emblems. Macau's post-handover official green coloured flag and emblem comprise a white lotus flower and five yellow stars. The current official city flag, which includes two angels, will become invalid.