June 29, 2022

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Kids do not like Ukrainian flags on the train

Kids do not like Ukrainian flags on the train

– We have many refugees from different countries and from Ukraine. Then we had a discussion, where we agreed that we did not want to mark this war on the children’s train, says Derje Vidar Howik, chairman of the May 17 committee in Halton.

In this city, they realized that this would be a theme as National Day approached. They had to decide the difficult choice between sympathizing with the Ukrainians or sticking to policies and traditions.

Gather around the Norwegian flag

– Refugees who come to Halton with such tools have no tradition of representing unrest and conflict in the world. We did not do that in the Balkans or in the Syrian war. There is unrest in many parts of the world, and we have residents in Halton coming from many such conflicts. That’s why we gather around the Norwegian flag and Norwegian coding on the children’s train, says Høvik.

Norwegian Flags: Oslo is one of the cities that welcomes other colors on the children’s train. (Photo: Grøtt, Vegard / NTB scanpix)

He says Halton wants Ukrainians to identify with their country in other ways, for example by wearing national costumes from their home country on May 17. In addition, the municipality wants to contribute to the Ukrainians in the city when they celebrate their National Day in August.

Different municipalities have different solutions for this small national nut. In Kansberg, they go the other way, and the Ukrainian colors are clearly visible on the children’s train.

Ukrainian part of the train

Here, the middle of the train will be reserved for Ukrainian children and grow up. The team has acquired a local printing company to produce several hundred Ukrainian flags in yellow and blue, which can be used by children and adults on trains.

– As the Ukrainians walk in the middle of the train and the Norwegian children walk in front and behind, it will be a sign that we need to protect the Ukrainian refugees who have come here, says Just Salveson, chairman of the committee in Kansberg.

Freedom of speech

In Oslo, the mayor believes that waving the Ukrainian flag is part of freedom of expression, which we celebrate on our National Day.

– We said, I think it’s very good, those who want to bring the flag of another country, they are welcome to do so. Mayor Marianne Bourgan says this is part of freedom of expression.

In Haldon, the group leader believes the Norwegians are more concerned about the issue than the Ukrainians.

– We talked to many Ukrainians here, they thought it would be weird if they put up flags with Norwegian flags on their national day because it was their day. So we changed it for ourselves, says Derje Vidar Hewick, committee chairman at Halton.

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