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How amusing

Denmark’s supreme court will rule on whether citizens should be allowed to fly a foreign flag after a couple were ordered to take down their star-spangled banner.

The hearing will be the final chapter in what has turned into a saga for Martin and Rikke Hedegard, who were first told to take down the American flag in 2017.

According to Danish law, people are allowed to fly the flag of another nation in public only if they get special permission from authorities. And even then, a Danish flag at least equal in size needs to be erected next to it.

The Hedegards came to the attention of the authorities when they hoisted the US flag to convey their enthusiasm for rockabilly culture, according to a report in the JydskeVestkysten newspaper.

Well, yes. I do wish we had a local insight into Danish culture in the same way we do into Cloggie among the readership. For my spideysenses are twitching here.

I would posit that the real and actual target is those flying the flags of certain other nations. Those more likely to be the departure point of certain first and possibly second generation immigrants. But a prosecution on those grounds would not be politically wise, thus the use of a Stars and Stripes (and it’s always possible, with Rockabilly, that they used a Stars and Bars) as the test case.

But spideysenses are not knowledge, which is why I wish we did have that local input……

17 thoughts on “How amusing”

  1. As this law was introduced in 1915, presumably Denmark wished to emphasize that it wasn’t an accomplice of the 2nd Reich, or perhaps the beastly Brits. Then a Soviet flag was banned in, I believe, 1934. So the law was thus deemed to operate in peacetime.

    A complaint was then made about people flying the US flag. Sounds like just precedent dragging things where people didn’t really expect them to go.

    I doubt that there’s any rational policy involved at all.

  2. I don’t think I can help you with this specific case but I can offer an insight into the Danish culture on their flag.

    My father was Danish and he and all the friends and family I met there were profoundly proud of their flag. Dinner tables were adorned with flag pole place settings for special family events; anniversaries, birthdays, etc. and notable public events such as Royal anniversaries. The thing is, such flag displays at notable events weren’t done in any overt nationalistic sense, but rather in the sense that as a small country, Denmark is often overlooked by the larger European countries and in any foreign news coverage. The flag was a symbol of “look, I’m here, don’t forget me”. rather than any bellicose nationalistic sentiment. Likewise, their language. Virtually all Danes speak English, they have to be bilingual or multilingual as almost nobody outside of Denmark speaks Danish. Like their flag, the Danes are equally proud of their language. My father was a Danish navy sailor and joined the British merchant fleet after the invasion of Denmark. He married my mother during WWII and remained in England thereafter. I was not taught Danish by my father and I recall the first time I met my Danish family in Denmark just how profoundly disappointed they were that I could not speak Danish. They weren’t angry, just disappointed, let down. A small piece of their heritage had withered. Again, I stress, it wasn’t in any angry nationalistic way, just a sense of loss of their heritage.
    So yes, the flag, language and culture are observed, but in a very different, quieter and subliminal sense than in the USA for example. Whatever the politics are behind the case you report, the Danes of my fathers generation at least would likely be disappointed by public displays of foreign flag flying without a Danish flag alongside to respect their culture.

  3. Presumably the Stars and Bars would be acceptable as it is not a foreign flag, though it would upset the woke.

  4. Ta for that. Always interesting to hear it from the horse’s mouth as the saying goes. Estonians etc seem to think much the same way, no doubt for much the same reasons (with added “We’re not Russian subjects any more” emphasis perhaps).

  5. Presumably flying the Rainbow Nation flag is allowed while the BLM one, which admittedly doesn’t claim to be a separate nation, is a no-brainer. Attempting to ban blackish flags associated with a religious ideology now prevalent in Scandinavia and Western Europe will be interesting.

    Perhaps they should follow certain UK councils and simply allow any flag other than their own National one.

  6. Dunno really. Flags carry at least the notion of territory. A house I used to pass regularly in England flew a US flag out front. Unless it actually was technical US territory (ambassador resi or some such) which I doubt very much indeed in that modest location, that just seems at best impolite.

    I’d imagine, but do not know, that a Spaniard might feel a similar way were I to fly the union jack here.

    Maybe it’s just USian obliviousness of Europe’s couple thousand years wars over territory.

  7. Only thing i know about Danish culture came from watching Festen.
    oh I seem to remember a factoid that the Danish flag is the oldest in the world.

  8. Here does the EU flag fit into this? Perhaps one of the stars might be considered Danish and therefore the flag is at least partially so?

  9. @Hallowed Be

    What about those endless hours as a nipper playing with Lego bricks? Not modern lego with kits that exist only to build the thing on the outside of the box but ur-Lego with nothing but bricks of different colours and sizes, windows and tiles ditto and base-plates and other paraphernalia for building imagined stuff.

  10. TMB.
    I’m sure i did while away the hours playing with lego but sadly can’t remember actually ever building anything other than a wall/fort for my soldiers to defend against the evil nazi hordes (i.e. Rommel’s Afrika Korps).

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Here does the EU flag fit into this? Perhaps one of the stars might be considered Danish and therefore the flag is at least partially so?”

    I suspect your comment was tongue in cheek, but it’s worth reminding Brexiteers so that they can point at the ignorance of Remainers that he EU stars don’t represent countries, and their “it’s our star, look after it” slogan just emphasised their ignorance.

  12. Hallowed Be
    Yes, I remember those evil airfix hordes. Afrika Korps were toffee coloured whereas the previously issued Wehrmacht were blue-grey and the heroic Tommies were dark green. The Wehrmacht set had a machine gunner who was cool but the Tommies were camouflaged by the pattern on my quilted eiderdown so they always won.

  13. @TMB you’re forgetting the tan Eighth Army. And I seem to remember a Lewis Gun (or at least a mounted machine gun and crew). Though I actually quite liked the uniform of the Afrika Korps.

  14. Flag etiquette is complex but no country wants a foreign flag flow higher than there own. With that in mind perhaps it’s time to ban the EU flag from being flown in the UK unless it’s next to and slightly lower than a union flag.

  15. “no country wants a foreign flag flow higher than their own.” That’s reminiscent of insisting no church or synagogue could be taller than the mosque. (You may vary this rule to taste.)

    I think I once unintentionally offended an American by remarking that I thought the best flag in the world was the Maple Leaf.

  16. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Here in the Reich it is common to fly flags on allotments.

    You often see flags of football teams. Among the national flags flown, the Reich colours are practically nonexistent.

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