A leaked list of the flags banned by this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has been leaked online and Wales is among the flags non grata.
It’s been banned for being too “political”, along with flags representing Palestine and the Basque Country, Crimea and Northern Cyprus, and Isis.
Although not banned, organisers have warned attendees not to wave the LGBT rainbow flag “politically” during countries with questionable approaches to LGBT rights’ sets. Like, say, for example, Russia.
The banning of the Welsh flag seems particularly unfair given that one half of the UK’s entry is Welsh. Joe Woolford of Joe and Jake fame was born in Ruthin in Wales.
Joe Woolford: Welsh - RMV/REX/Shutterstock
“The European Broadcasting Union aims to ensure that the Eurovision Song Contest is free from political statements, unauthorised commercial messages and offensive comments, in line with the contest’s rules that all 42 participating broadcasters agreed upon,” a Eurovision spokesperson said.
“The organisers are fully committed to the safety of the audience and crew. For these purposes, the Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest, which is the contest’s governing body on behalf of the participating broadcasters, decided on a flag policy.
“On the request of the venue, the flag policy contains some examples of flags that are not permitted under the flag policy. It is important to state that the flag policy is not aimed against specific territories or organisations and certainly does not compare them to each other, but merely aims at assuring that the broadcast is free from the aforementioned messages and to assure that venue and security staff can enforce this policy upon entrance without delaying the entrance of some 10,000 people.
“I would like to reaffirm to you that the flag policy is not aimed against any organisation of territory specifically including Wales.”
The Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Sweden on May 14.
Lead image: Rolf Klatt/REX/Shutterstock