“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.