After a flurry of discussion, debate and drama in response to the original flag policy of Eurovision 2016, the EBU has issued a revised — and much less restrictive — policy. In short, any flag is acceptable.

The original policy controversially limited flags to only those of nations recognised by the United Nations, the rainbow flag and the EU flag. This excluded flags such as Palestine, Crimea and the Basque flag. The policy attracted an avalanche of criticism, from both fans and political organisations.

But now the EBU has reconsidered, and is happily allowing national, regional and local flags, along with the previously permitted flags.

In a statement on Facebook, the EBU explained the new policy decision:

“After reflection and constructive talks with several participating delegations, Eurovision Song Contest organisers have agreed to relax the flag policy, and to allow national, regional and local flags of the participants e.g. the Welsh flag (as one of the UK singers is from Wales) and the Sami flag (as the Norwegian singer is originally of Sami heritage). This is in addition to the flags of all UN member states, the EU flag and the rainbow flag, as stipulated in the original guidelines.”

The EBU will also take a more tolerant approach to flags, but still emphasises that audiences should respect the non-political nature of the contest.

And the usual size restrictions still apply, meaning that while fans will be able to fly any flag they like, they still won’t be able to obscure the cameras with giant banners.

Read all our Eurovision 2016 news here

 

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Ticktack
Ticktack
4 years ago

I don’t really see the point of wawing rainbow flags either. To tell the world “I am gay?” 🙂 OK. You are. Fair enough.

But why dwell on stereotypes? Will ESC really benefit from that? As an overall event for ALL kinds of people? I don’t mean to sound harsh, but still.

Whappy
Whappy
4 years ago

@Tom. Redfox has many good points. Don’t put up the “homophobic card” please. it’s getting weary

Oxana
Oxana
4 years ago

how about Soviet Communist Regime symbols along with nazi symbols? in my country both banned. Flag of Transnistria have Soviet symbols. will they be allowed or not?

Debs
Debs
4 years ago

I read that many states of America have recognised Nagorno Karabakh. Moreover, I heard our Commonwealth ministry and they say it is almost recognised.

Tom L
Tom L
4 years ago

@Redfox Waving the LGBT flag doesn’t make Eurovision a “gay event” as much as waving the Sami flag would make it a “Sami event”. Eurovision is a hugely popular event which happens to have a lot of LGBT fans. It is a huge celebration inclusive of all, and if that makes you feel uncomfortable, you should think more carefully about your prejudices.

Daniel E.
Daniel E.
4 years ago

I just hope the flags won’t be all over the screen, like last year, blocking us from seeing the stage and performwrs

AurelianTamisan
AurelianTamisan
4 years ago

Wow, EBU is able to revise! Thank you from Romania!

Redfox
Redfox
4 years ago

yay for Sami flag, dont care for the gay one. since when is ESC a gay event anyway? you dont friggin own it. I agree with JustMyOpinion. dont make everything about just one group. thats so immature.

Rashad
Rashad
4 years ago

@Debs,
Actually no, as the article states EBU still bans flags sending political messages including the politically disputed areas. Which means those flags will still be banned in the arena which is good in order to prevent any kind of provacations.
FYI, Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized by any official state, not even by Armenia. So it’s not half-recognized, it’s an integral part of Azerbaijan.

JustMyOpinion
JustMyOpinion
4 years ago

I don’t mind the Rainbow flag as such. Gay liberation is a good thing. Pride parades etc. But I don’t really see the point of lots of wawing in ESC. The major point of flags is to a) show your own country b) show the flags) of the countries you support. It’s ESC that unites us. Our mutual love for the music and for the show. Not sexuality. There are many gay fans visiting ESC finals, but also many straight fans. I don’t think stereotypes are any good. No offence 🙂 And the heading “Let your freaky flag fly?” Once… Read more »

Oxana
Oxana
4 years ago

Eugene,
thank you for in-depth explanation about bets per country in topic earlier. I appreciate your knowledge and attention to details. it was very helpful to clear some of my doubts. thanks again! 🙂

fikri
fikri
4 years ago

lol EBU buckling under pressure… tho i dont think any sane person is going to fly all the way to sweden, head to a cheesy song contest and fly their flags to act nationalistic. that’s just tasteless

@EugeneESCUK
4 years ago

The U turn is complete ……………the EBU has finally relaxed the Flag Policy.

Time for the reference group to increase to 13 members perhaps from ALL across Europe??

The English are now welcome in Sweden. “Come together” now means “Come together”!!

V
V
4 years ago

Can we see Islamic State flag now?

Melissa J
4 years ago

What a fantastic turn around! Now we can truly all “Come Together”!!

oooops
oooops
4 years ago

But the Islamic State flag, it will just scare the majority of the people in the arena.

Oxana
Oxana
4 years ago

good news. I hope it’s not too late for everyone to prepare their flags.

Daan
Daan
4 years ago

I want to bring my Dutch flag to the stadium, is that allowed? Its a flag we also hang out for events here so…

Alvaricomg
Alvaricomg
4 years ago

but what about the size of the flags??

Debs
Debs
4 years ago

Fair enough. Now we an see Nagorno Karabahk (Artzakh), Teansnistria and Kosovo flag there, too. Fantastic! They are half recognised. But these conflicts have nothing to do with other companies conflicts.

JL
JL
4 years ago

The EBU is delusional if they still believe ESC is not political. For god’s sake, we don’t give points to songs or singers, we give points to countries! Does the name of the singer or song show on screen for all 3 minutes of a performance? NO! The name of the country does!

With this misguided flag policy the EBU claims to have tried to remove politics from the competitions, but in the process they only revealed their own political biases.

Pollaski 2: Electric Boogaloo
Pollaski 2: Electric Boogaloo
4 years ago

SCORE ONE FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!