Eurovision 2016: Spanish and UK Politicians Join in Flag Row

Eurovision badgesEurovision 2016 – As no further statement appears from Eurovision HQ, fans ares still not nearer knowing what the flag policy is for this year’s contest. In the meantime the Spanish government  and UK politicians have involved themselves angrily in the row. 

“It is a constitutional, legal and legitimate flag and the Spanish government will defend it whenever needed,” Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting on Friday, in response to the Basque flag appearing on the list to be banned.

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, spoke to Spain’s ambassador in Sweden “so that he could immediately tell the organisation that it is a constitutional flag and cannot be in that list,” a ministry spokeswoman told AFP.\

The row has also made the UK media which is in the throes of an EU referendum…

flags controversy

The UK Conservative Member of Parliament Philip Davies said: “It seems the only thing you can get away with Europe is being a Europe fanatic.”

For an organisation that doesn’t want to be political, they sure have managed to stir things up in several countries.


52 comments on “Eurovision 2016: Spanish and UK Politicians Join in Flag Row

  1. “It is a constitutional, legal and legitimate flag and the Spanish government will defend it whenever needed,”

    What flag are they refering to? I suppose the Basque one, since it’s the only one related to Spain appearing on the respective ban list.

  2. Happy Easter to everyone celebrating tomorrow!

  3. I think that little by little, step by step, those people running the EBU are making a ridicule out of themselves (which would be fine with me; I couldn’t care less).
    What I do care for though is that they are harming ESC by turning it into a farce.

  4. I’m guessing the flag business was Bjorkman’s idea? If not, well you’ve stumped me there.

  5. I am very sorry to say this but I begin to hate ESC. Who are those people on the EBU reference group thinking that they are entitled to define which identities are legitimate and which are not?
    Yuck and BOOOO. Get lost, idiots!

  6. Regional flags and rainbow/EU flags are a different deal imo. I can see and understand the reasons to ban certain regional flags connected to seperatist movements. The idiocy of pro-leave politicians in the UK and their sheer contempt for Europe in general starts to get on my nerves though.

    • Living here we get bombarded with it daily. If they’ve proper reasoned arguments and facts for their case I’d listen, but I’ve seen no evidence of any of their claims (as yet). I’ll be voting to stay in for so many reasons.

      I feel that a european flag represents me just as much as a UK union flag, an English St Georges cross or a Yorkshire white rose flag. I can be all of those things without losing who I am and should be freely allowed to wave any of them at an event that is about bringing everyone together regardless of country, colour or creed imo.

      Do they honestly believe that a) anyone would wave an ISIS flag and b) people standing next to them wouldn’t have that person waving it out of there in 10 seconds flat?

      The more I think about this, the more unbelievable to is. What on earth were they thinking???

      • All I will say is that I am glad that you are voting to stay and unfortunately I could see people willing to bring an IS flag if not for anything else then to troll and get some attention on them :-(

      • Agreed and signed, I’m just so not surprised that all this ESC flag nonsense would be a pretext for Brexit campaigners to start throwing their anti-Europe speech everywhere… it’s such a Brexit thing to do, so to say.
        Luckily for me I live in Scotland, and the high majority of people I know here are pro-remain.

      • Another ”in” vote from me ;)

  7. Allow every flag or ban everyone. Personally I would like ESC to be flag free, but I understand it won’t be like that.

  8. They keep opening pandora boxes, don’t they? They seem to like sterile evironments.

    • ‘now my heart awakes to the soound of silence, and it beats to the sound of silence’…

      • Ignoring every other offensive thing you wrote on this thread ( as well as almost every other thread) your obsessive hatred towards the australian entry is borderline sad at this point.

        P.S. the pope is a human hating bigot. And I have every right to say so as part of my right to free speech – the same that provides you the right to drag people like mr. Bjorkman to the mud. And now you can report me again if you want to censor me yet again. I just had to get it out of my system and wont have any further conact with you in the future.

        Bye !

  9. Thanks EBU for making ESC more and more popular in my country with your stupid cosmopolit-notpoliticalwannabe ideas and double standards ! What else must EBU do to make AMPTV to withdraw which will be very legitim decision taking into account the public opinion here!

  10. I’ve never waved a flag in my life because flags represent collective identities and I have never felt comfortable with those. They are mostly dangerous because they need to define someone who is other and does not belong. In fact, collective identities always scared the shit out of me so much that even my PhD thesis addressed the issue: Concepts of Society and Community in Post-Aids Drama. I never thought that my thesis would become relevant beyond my personal fear of groups and masses but looking at the re-nationalisation, islamophobia etc. in Europe, it actually is. Sad and scary like hell … or rather heaven!

  11. Ban all flags and give them baloons instead if they really wave something…
    While watching Eurovision,I really don’t like seeing flags…they are covering the screen!!!

  12. I believe people are way too harsh on them on that matter.While i understand that some people may use esc as a platform to serve their own separatist agenda i don’t know what the rainbow flag has to do with it.However,it’s not among the flags that are banned atm.I’m also surprised that only a few people mentioned the vomit-inducing populism and propaganda of the OUT campaigners in the UK.They’ll use any cheap trick available that serves their purpose.
    All in all,i’m against all those separatists movements around Europe and their use of flags in esc is definitely controversial and politically charged.
    My idea would be to allow only the flags of the 42 participating countries and the rainbow flag.

    • I agree 100 %. While I am outraged by the limitation on the use of the rainbow flag, regional flags are of different nature and purpose.
      I respect 100 % the people who want all flags banned for practical reasons as well.

    • ”All in all,i’m against all those separatists movements around Europe”

      Scotland, Catalonia and Basque country? I wouldn’t go thus far as reducing them to ”separatists”. It is insulting to say the least.

      • It’s not insulting at all.I respect cultural diversity and peoples need to have their own identity.However,that doesn’t mean they should all become independent nations.Financial crisis is the driving force behind all this surge in separatist movements.Somehow people feel that they will do better,thrive and live happily ever after if they are alone.This is totally irrelevant in 21st century,imo.

        • I fully disagree.

        • Reducing everything to the financial crisis is a simplistic approach. You need to go back to history to understand things better IMO. I don’t know about Catalonia but I can talk about Scotland. They united with England and Wales to form the UK around 1700 because back then it suited them politically and economically. This doesn’t mean they can’t review again that relationship. Things change – always. That thing about 21st century is vague IMO. What is so special about 21st century? And how different is it from say 20th century? It isn’t.

          • Dino,the reason why i avoid discussing with you anything non esc related is your rude and offensive way of interacting with others.

            • Nope, it is my opinion which you can handle… your problem really.

            • You always jump comment politics and once someone post smth you don’t like you start victimizing yourself. It is not appealing really…i really regret bothering explaining.

            • First off,when i sense things are going to the wrong direction i choose to stop a conversation not because i can’t handle it or because i victimize myself(???)but simply because it’s not pleasant for other users to read endless rants and fruitless debates.
              As for my simplistic view you may call it what you want but it’s not one i haven’t thought about before expressing it.Last but not least,on Scottish history and their voting trends i know all about it because i do like to read and study and there were so many articals about it last year with the referendum which by the way was won by the STAY campaign.

        • Something else about Scotland: people in Scotland are voting differently than any other part o the UK. Either SNP national-socialist, Labour or LibDems. They hardly support the Conservatives. England and Wales on the other hand give massive support to Conservatives regardless. It is a complex situation one that should be taken into account. Scots are a socialist country hardly compatible to the capitalist south UK. Well after this do you expect them to sit down and think of the ”ideas of 21st century? ”

    • But why the rainbow flag in particular? Why not f.e. a flag representing left-handed people or – let’s say – a model railway association?

      • You are a wise man and we need more of your kind in Europe.

      • Hmm…Because the LGBT movement and esc are strongly intertwined?Or we choose to dig our heads in the sand and deny the simple fact that gay fans are big part of what makes esc vibrant and colorful?I wouldn’t have a problem with a flag of a railway association but i believe they don’t represent the same things.The rainbow flag represents the struggles and victories of a big community within the esc universe,it’s a symbol of tolerance and acceptance.Just imagine esc without its crazy,hardcore gay fans.Wouldn’t it lose a part of its essence and its soul?

        • Actually I don’t really know. I mean, as far as I know, before Dana International Eurovision wasn’t particularly associated with the LGBT movement. It was just a TV show and a song contest.

          Of course it is great that there is there are a lot of LGBT people enjoying Eurovision, but I would say the same if it were left-handers (like myself) or whatever.

          Also, I think that if we allow the rainbow flag at the expense of other non-political flags, then we reproduce a stereotype of Eurovision as ‘a big gay party’, and that is a shame. It should be for everyone regardless of sexuality, gender, religion etc.

          • Since it’s the EBU the one to decide and it has decided to ban some flags and rightfully so,imo then its not really in our hands.My idea which was only an idea and nothing set on stone was to simply announce the flags that are allowed in the contest to save us from all the mess of angry Catalans f.i waving the flag of their local railway association because this one is allowed.I’m sure there would be or even will be attempts to dicredit EBU’a decisions by waving irrelevant flags.But i’m willing to take my idea off the table if the straight male individuals watching the contest feel marginalized or discriminated against.
            I don’t see esc as a big gay party.It’s a family show but the big gay fan community and families can co-exist within the esc universe ,imo.

  13. I… have a Bosnian flag coz they’re the best esc country :D

  14. What a load of hypocrits though. Uk and Spain are two countries who genuinely ignore the contest, and that comes from national broadcasters… so now that there’s a cotroversy to serve up THEIR interest, they decide to talk. Politicians arent supposed to only talk, but act, no?

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