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Burning the Old Black, Yellow and Red

Burning Old Glory, the Union Jack (1) and Judah's Colours is all too common, and scarcely worth noting, but the world's flag burning enthusiasts have found a new target for their Zippos - the Belgian flag, or as I've decided to dub it, the Old Black, Yellow and Red (2).

However, making a change from the usual reasons for flag burning - foreign policy, domestic policy and the like, the incinerators were from the Vlaams Belang, the Flemish separatist party and on the outskirts ofBrussels itself. Le Monde quotes the VB as chanting "Que la Belgique crève !", which, unless it was for the benefit of the journalists, seems a little unlikely given their lack of fondness for their Francophone compatriots. I suspect that a more believable English rendering than 'Let Belgium burst!' would be something like 'Break Belgium!'. However, "Rats wallons, pliez bagages!" has to be rendered as "Walloon rats, pack your bags!". Which is not very nice.

I have a copy of an English translation of a certain Ibsen play which the translator is at pains to call 'A Public Enemy' rather than the more usual 'An Enemy of the People' because he felt that having a mob chanting 'enemy of the people' would sound rather silly. I am inclined to agree.


(1) Yup, I know that it is the Union Flag, but I was deliberately opting for nicknames and the like.

(2) Showing their traditional Belgian cussedness / confusion, the constitution of Belgium defines the flag as 'red, yellow and black', the reverse of those actually colours used, based on the norm of reading the stripes from the flagpole to the fly.

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Blogger Ed said... 7:51 am

The Flemish bit is much nicer than the Froggish bit. Why am I not surprised?  



Blogger Croydonian said... 7:57 am

My antipathy to the staggeringly rude citizenry of Brussels has been documented extensively here in the past.....  



Blogger Ed said... 11:28 am

I haven't been to the sticking point, only to places deep within their respective zones.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 12:07 pm

Ed - A wise choice. I have been to Brugge, like everyone else, De Panne and various other bits in the West, apart from Brussels itself.  



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