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Foreign flags hurt our feelings: Swiss patriots

Foreign flags hurt our feelings: Swiss patriots

Published: 23 Apr 2012 10:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Apr 2012 10:20 GMT+02:00

Conservative nationalist party, the Ticino League, wants to make the raising of the Swiss flag mandatory for anybody hoisting a foreign flag in Switzerland.

“All foreign flags hoisted publicly should be accompanied by a Helvetic banner of at least the same size,” the party announced on Thursday before the cantonal parliament, newspaper Le Matin reported.

The proposal led to two hours of lively debate in the Ticino assembly in the Italian-speaking part of the counrty, which finally rejected the idea on the grounds that imposing such regulations about flags would restrict freedom of expression. In addition, it was determined that flags do not cause any danger to public safety.

The proposal’s champion, National Councillor Lorenzo Quadri, now intends to bring the issue to the national parliament.

“Some have become used to hoisting foreign flags without doing the same with the Swiss flag,” he said.

Quadri maintains that the sight of foreign flags without the equivalent Swiss representation is hurting some Swiss peoples’ feelings. Raising the Swiss flag would be a sign of respect for the host country, he said, and would be the very least foreigners could do to show their willingness to integrate.

Swiss People’s Party politician, Oskar Freysinger, agrees.

“Displaying two flags gives a double positive message: the person is proud of his roots and loves Switzerland and its values,” he said.

But some, including Green Party parliamentarian Antonio Hodgers, think little of the idea.

“Obliging people to give the impression that they like our country is nonsense,” he told Le Matin. 

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

2012-04-24 08:05:07 by dethbunny
The SVP is such an embarrassment to Switzerland. How insecure can you possibly be to say that you have to fly your nation's flag next to any other for fear that your country's standing may be diminished by the act of flying a foreign flag, especially considering that most foreign flags are flown for benign reasons such as identifying an embassy or promoting food at a restaurant. Extreme nationalism is the province of cowards and the feeble-minded. Hopefully more reasonable and enlightened opinions will prevail over that of the ilk of the SVP, Ticino League, and others. It is more than a little sad that far right-wing extremism is on the march yet again in Europe. It would seem that Europe's children are already forgetting the history lessons that the past century taught in such a brutal fashion.
2012-04-23 23:44:43 by maxbrando
Who cares if others are offended. Switzerland is for the Swiss! If you don't like it, don't come here! Fly the flag and outlaw other flags (and expel) those who do not comply. (Go back to Congo, or wherever.) Simple.
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