Olly Alexander's statement in Eurovision flag parade after controversial Union Jack remarks

Olly with his huge flag at the Eurovision grand final
Olly with his huge flag at the Eurovision grand final -Credit:BBC

Olly Alexander caused a stir before he had even performed at the Eurovision Song Contest as he made a statement during the flag parade. The 25 countries taking part in tonight's competition in Sweden opened the competition by proudly walking their flags down the runway - apart from Switzerland who notably strutted down the runway with the non-binary flag.

Olly also chose to be different as he walked the runway. While most of the contestants had the same small flags, Olly had brought his own huge flag that flowed behind him as he sashayed the stage.

Host Graham Norton cheekily quipped 'Someone's brought their own flag'.

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Olly previously sparked some backlash earlier this year with his controversial remarks about the Union Jack flag. Back in March, 33-year-old Alexander branded the Union Jack flag "divisive" and "nationalistic".

Some questioned why he was representing the UK in the show despite him admitting he felt "ambivalent" towards the flag. Bucks Fizz star Cheryl Baker told the Daily Express: "The flag thing - I think that's a bit daft because, you know, a flag is exactly that - it's bringing together countries."

She continued: "I think that was a bit silly. He probably regrets it." Alexander earlier said that he hoped to 'reclaim the Union Jack in a positive way'. adding: "When I’m going to be out there waving my flag… at the parade, it’s for all the good things that have come from growing up in the UK and being British."

Viewers commented on X, with one writing: "We’ve bossed the biggest flag competition here!" A second commented: "I know we'll lose but seriously, the arrogance of our choice of flag size? #Eurovision2024."

"Do we win for biggest flag? #Eurovision2024," a third asked. Another said: "Jesus, who gave Olly that mahoosive flag? That feels slightly provocative #Eurovision2024."

"Ok respect to Olly Alexander for bringing a flag eight times as big as anyone else #Eurovision," another wrote. And another added: "Good thinking from @alexander_olly bringing a massive flag to hide in when we get nil points later #Eurovision2024."

Meanwhile viewers were loving Switzerland's representation for the non-binary community. Non-binary people may identify as an intermediate or separate third gender, identify with more than one gender, no gender, or have a fluctuating gender identity. The Non-Binary Flag was created by Kyle Rowan in 2014. and features horizontal stripes of the colours yellow, white, purple, and black.

One fan wrote: "Switzerland may just get my vote for coming out in the flag parade with a non-binary pride flag! #Eurovision2024 #Eurovision." Another commented: "Yes Nemo from Switzerland with the non binary flag."