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From the sublime to the ridiculous

Having lauded Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt the other day, it is saddening that there more than enough idiocy to go round in the land of ice and snow, judging from this sorry tale:

"A school principal in southern Sweden has banned pupils from posing for class photos wearing national team shirts containing Swedish flags. Since national flags may be perceived by some as xenophobic, eighth grade pupils in Karlshamn have been ordered to wear less inflammatory garb for a photo to be published in the school yearbook. "Anybody looking at the photo could view it as a political demonstration," (Erm, or perhaps a football team?) principal Pär Blondell Strandskolan told news agency TT....Blondell stuck to his guns, arguing that the pupils risked inadvertently earning themselves a bad reputation. People could begin speculating about "the racists from Karlshamn" once the yearbook began being distributed".

Now I like yellow shirts considerably more than the next man, but the Swedish national team's shirt is hardly a thing of beauty:

Being older than dirt, I remember compulsory school uniforms, and think that they have much to recommend them, but presumably our Scandinavian chums did away with uniforms a long time ago. As Quentin Crisp put it, "The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.

Returning to the point at hand, it is notable that the headmaster is presumably happy enough for his charges to sport these shirts on days when they are not being photographed, and thus it suggests that he is more concerned about any perception of xenophobia than whether his charges will follow that all so slippery slope from wearing the national colours to abusing new Swedes, to beating them up to over-enthusiastic attempts to emulate Charles XII and invading Sweden's neighbours on the other side of the Baltic.

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Anonymous some guy from Sutton said... 11:35 am

excellent quote from Q. Crisp, who of course was a Suttonian.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:38 am

Noel Coward and John Galliano also have Sutton connections. Might there be something in the water?  

Anonymous Letters From A Tory said... 1:04 pm

Makes you wonder how they'll get through Geography lessons if they can't show a flag without insulting someone.  

Blogger Ed said... 1:12 pm

We once had to paint a national flag each in Geography. I was lazy and chose Libya.  

Anonymous Verity said... 1:26 pm

I cannot imagine anyone anywhere on the face of the earth feeling threatened by the Swedish flag. Didn't they sit out WWII? Who on earth would consider them aggressive? The headmaster's delusional.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:00 pm

Ed, you lazy, if crafty so and so.

Here's post from the archives referring to a rather amusing site that rates flags for design etc. The writer rates Libya a 'B'. Strange chap, but adds, 'Did you even try?'

Verity, it looks like the Swedes have sat out every war since 1809.  

Anonymous verity said... 4:39 pm

Thanks, Croydonian. Anyone who thinks the Swedish flag is aggressive is a very timid person indeed and perhaps should not be allowed out unaccompanied.

BTW, the tarantula who stayed in my bathroom for three days has gone. She began to look thin and weak and depressed -- I think she couldn't climb up the slippery bathroom wall tiles to get up to the window and had starved for three days. Anyway, I got a friend over and we got her in a box and let her out under some plants.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:16 am

The tarantula tale was making me grateful that the most threatening wildlife in these parts are pigeons with diarrhoea, then I remembered the local chavs, sundry aggressive breeds of dog and the like.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:01 pm

Once I got over the fear - it took the full three days to calm down, especially as I kept thinking she was gone and then in the evening, she was back - I started to quite like it. I was terribly worried when she sat in the shower looking peaky.  

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