Every Indonesian child learns about how the Indonesian Republic declared its independence; that in 1945, a radical youth organisation abducted resistance heroes Mohammad Hatta and Achmed Sukarno, virtually forcing them to prematurely declare independence and raise the nationalist movement's red and white flag. Four years later, when the Indonesians finally expelled the Dutch, and their independence was recognised internationally, the flag - sewn by Sukarno's third wife Fatmawati - was finally raised at Freedom Palace. To this day, the Indonesian flag has a special significance for the people, who fly it in their homes and on their cars during the whole month of independence celebrations, from August to September. Loyalty to the 'red and white' is shorthand in Indonesia for nationalist fervour. But in an attempt to allow greater access to the original flag, Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso plans to relocate it inside Indonesia's most famous public memorial to the independence struggle, the National Monument. The scheme appears to be very lucrative for some in Mr Sutiyoso's office. The cost of moving this piece of cloth less than one kilometre is 3.5 billion rupiah (HK$3.2 million). This includes 1.09 billion rupiah to encase the flag in a glass and gold case, 105.6 million to carry the flag across the park, 229.1 million rupiah for 'consultants fees' and 500 million rupiah for the relocation ceremony. But Mr Sutiyoso's extravagant brainchild has met with little criticism from the national government, reputedly because the project honours Indonesia's first lady Fatmawati, who also happens to be the mother of President Megawati Sukarnoputri. The flag will be in good company. Just outside the National Monument, on Freedom Square, is the new Walk of Independence, featuring the footprints of Indonesia's heroes - as decided by Mr Sutiyoso. These include, much to the disgust of most Indonesians, those of the fabulously corrupt former dictator Suharto. Although Suharto has avoided corruption proceedings, claiming he is not mentally fit to stand trial, he was, nevertheless, well enough to cast his prints. As local papers have pointed out, the estimate for moving the flag makes a mockery of the independence ideals. What was once a highly symbolic but simple object made with pride has become an opportunity for the elite to steal from the public purse, while claiming to be working for the republic.