Compared to our thriving camp culture, the NUSSU Rag & Flag had taken a back seat in recent years in terms of importance and reach. The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) event was, in our eyes, ideal for reviving and promoting the faculty identity. The Rag organizing committee knew that it was a make or break year, as such, we started collecting materials very early on in the year.
We originally planned to do a Moulin Rouge theme, which is similar to previous themes that the Arts Club had done, where we presented a simple story; star crossed lovers meeting and falling in love, only to be torn apart by a jealous suitor. The hero would eventually defeat this villain and rescue his lady fair. However, we decided that it was too clichéd and went with the intention of entertaining the spectators instead.
We thought it through and decided on the circus theme. Our main float was eventually modelled after Komali, the oldest elephant in the Singapore Zoo. We also produced an ornamental cannon, that we named Oscar, as well as a cage to complement Komali. The dancers were split into three groups, namely the clowns, the acrobats and the animals, with each segment headed by a ringmaster.
The amount of Yakult bottles, aluminium drink cans and other assorted materials started building up steadily as Rag season approached. The plans from both of our design heads, Woon Kai for “hard tech”and Jia Li for “soft tech”, became more comprehensive with each passing day. We all swung into action the moment our final examination ended in early May.
There was work done on all fronts. Woon Kai and his team were finalizing the calculations of how each part of the metal frame, that was to become our Elephant, would come together. Jia Li was on her drawing board daily, churning out new ideas inspired by all the raw materials scrounged from our various “karang guni” runs. Rachel and Red were busy gathering dancers and choreographing moves that would be in sync with how our float would turn out to be. The buzz was accumulating steadily as seniors started returning to chip in, either financially or in the float building effort. Freshmen also started streaming in with their groups of friends right after Arts Camp. We never looked back after that.
On 6th August 2010, we brought the win back to Arts in a sea of Arts students dressed in our faculty green.
After Rag & Flag 2010 had become but a memory, Professor Brenda Yeoh and Professor T C Chang kindly consented to our request to preserve Oscar within FASS as a mini monument for remembrance. Look out for Oscar on campus!