This article was translated by John R. Bopp
This afternoon, we brought to you an article that mentioned that Eurovision had included the Basque flag, the ikurriña, on a list of flags that were prohibited to be shown, alongside flags such as that of the Islamic State. As is logical, this has generated a huge amount of controversy from Basques around the world.
This afternoon, the spokesperson for the European Broadcasters Union (EBU), Dave Goodman, has given a statement stating the intention of this institution to modify the document that indicated which flags could be shown and which ones couldn’t be during the celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden.
This is of course the only thing they could do. But from then on, the willpower of the spokesman, and we imagine of the EBU, dissolved like sugar in coffee. It sounded like “we don’t understand why you’ve gotten so offended; we didn’t do anything wrong. You just don’t get it”
The rest of the statement only contains empty excuses, mistakes, and sentences that show that while they’re backpedalling, they’re not admitting to the damage they’ve caused.
Let’s look at some of the sentences in this statement as picked up by different media and which has led us to believe they think we’re idiots.
If the portraying of the flags in the document has offended anyone, we of course apologize for that.
Do the “organizers” not clearly understand that what they’ve done, with the ikurriña and with other flags, by placing them in the same group as the flag of the Islamic State, is an indisputably offensive mistake?
And not accepting that responsibility explicitly, with no hesitation, is in and of itself offensive.
The organizers have established a rule that says that only the flags that represent each of the 42 states that participate in the festival are authorized.
To say this lie, the members of the EBU must think the plebes can’t read. In a document that has since been modified, it stated:
Official national flags of the 42 participating countries (preferred), as well as the flags of countries that have recently taken part (e.g., Turkey, Portugal, Romania);
Official national flags of other countries, provided the respective country is a Member of the United Nations.
So, that bit about how only the 42 participating countries’ flags are permitted is not true.
Among the examples cited in the document “as unauthorized flags”, there is also that of Kosovo, Crimea, and Palestine, although it is specified that this “list is not exhaustive”. Also, the document includes the flag of the jihadist group Islamic State as an example of a flag that is “strictly prohibited”.
This, my good sir, is what it says now. The original document (which can be found below) had something quite different to say:
The following flags are specifically not allowed at the Eurovision Song Contest. This list is non-exhaustive:
And on that list, next to the flags of the Basque Country and of Palestine, presented as equal, was the flag of the Islamic State.
It is important to state that the flag policy is not aimed against specific territories or organizations, and certainly does not compare them to each other.
Of course they’re not compared. Some are allowed, and others are prohibited. Of course this isn’t a comparison, it’s segregation. Nevertheless, the segregated ones, the ones expelled from the Paradise of Eurovision, aren’t compared, either. There are simply a few, selected and chosen, that are especially marked and identified as being “not good “, and are placed at the same level and the Islamic State’s flag.
This document, which was a draft, “was not meant to be published”.
Without a doubt, the publication of this document has caused a head or two to roll, even if just the techie’s for publishing it for all to see.
What Mr. Dave Goodman doesn’t explain is what reasons existed for these flags to be specially marked in this document, be it a draft or the final copy.
We can only think of two reasons:
- That these are flags whose presence on the screens of all Europe could especially hurt the feelings of any of the member states of the EBU
- That the organizers of Eurovision consider these flags to represent communities that are especially conflictive and dangerous.
The truth is that neither of these reasons leaves the EBU in a good place.
Definitely, this is as very odd way of apologizing and correcting, as it doesn’t really accomplish either.
In this statement and the change in documents, there’s a certain Orwellian air, a certain syntony with the description this author makes in his “1984” and the “Ministry of Truth” that was always changing yesterday’s papers to ensure that the statements printed always coincided with the events as they’d actually occurred.
If they hadn’t wanted to admit to anything, just fake it elegantly, it would have been much simpler to use the method the King of Spain uses: saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong, it won’t happen again.”