STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – On Thursday afternoon there was a document online by Globen Arena and AXS giving the information on which items and flags are allowed in the arena and which are not. There were also example of flags like IS, Northern Cyprus and Kosovo. Many regional media vowed against this announcement.
THE ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT
This document provides Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) ticket holders, and particularly the fans on the arena floor, clear guidance on which flags are permitted and which conditions they have to meet. The flag policy has been approved by the ESC Reference Group and may be enforced by local security, arena staff, EBU officials and Host Broadcaster representatives (hereafter “the organisers”).
• 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 (see http://www.un.org/en/memberWstates/ for an updated list).
Rainbow flags and the European Union flag will be tolerated provided they will, according to the evaluation of the organisers, not be used as tool to intentionally make a political statement during the show. Particularly, the organisers request and urge the fan community to respect and appreciate the nonWpolitical nature of the Eurovision Song Contest.
• Flags/banners that do not meet the above specifications
• Local, regional or provincial flags
• Flags/banners containing commercial messages
• Flags/banners containing and/or representing a statement that the organisers consider of
political or religious nature, in particular flags of disputed territories
• Flags/banners containing statements or images that the organisers consider offensive,
discriminatory or unsuitable for the public
• Flags/banners containing statements in another language than English
• Flags/banners/objects, such as selfie sticks, that otherwise obstruct the view of the
cameras, production crew or other ticket holders.
Be advised that in addition to the flag policy, ticket holders must at all times follow instructions given by the organisers, and that additional terms may apply, such as, but not limited to, instructions given on the ticket or during the ticket buying process.
“On Thursday afternoon, a draft version of the flag policy for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was published on the website of the Globe Arena and ticket agency AXS. The document included a non-exhaustive list of examples of flags that under the flag policy are prohibited in the venue. This document was not intended to be published. The organisers understand and acknowledge the sensitivities of presenting a selection of flags of organisations and territories, each of them of very different nature. The organisers apologise to everyone who feels offended by the list. The EBU has asked the Globe Arena and AXS to immediately remove the document that includes the flag examples, and to publish the official document, without the examples, instead. The official and final flag policy document will be published on the official website, Eurovision.tv, later today, along with a full explanation.”