Almost one month ago, in Poland we could observe an enormous conflict concerning the European Union flag. The information about its disappearance during weekly news conference on November 24, between Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło, and the journalists after the first Polish government sitting when the changing of the Cabinet just happened, has spread all around Europe with the question: „What does this action actually mean?”
The European Union flag is not only a symbol of the organization itself but also of the unity, solidarity and harmony between the member states and people living in there. Circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background takes its existence in the year 1955, when it was designed for use of the Council of Europe. But just 16 out of 28 member states had declared the flag „as symbol to express the sense of community of the people in the European Union and their allegiance to it”(1). This would mean, that in countries other than Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic usage of the European Union flag is not necessary.
It means, that from the legal point of view, Polish PM did nothing wrong – she just broke the practice of her predecessor and removed the EU flag from the press conference. Mass media, however, are putting to it some different meaning by quoting words of PM Beata Szydło that „we will realize, from now on those conferences on the most beautiful in my opinion white-red flag”(2). Boooomm! And now everyone is gossips that EU flag is not beautiful enough for the Polish PM and that it will be just the first action out of many carried out by Polish national-conservative political party which will turn away Poland from the European Union. Is that really the case? Well, I guess we will see what the future will bring. Now I can just say it is a huge shame that most of the articles concerning this issue are not quoting first few lines of what PM Szydło has said when asked why the flags are not in the meeting – „We are active member of the European Union. I hope that we will be even more active member of the EU […] I am very happy that today in this difficult times we are members of the EU and NATO because as you can see and hear, the situation is not so good „(2). It sounds so against the EU…
For now, I think that we don’t have to worry too much about the place of European Union flag in Poland, as it is still visible in some significant places like the Polish Parliament and the entrance to the Polish Prime Minister Chancellery hanging nicely and proudly. Instead of choosing between blue or white-red, we should focus our attention on the matters concerning future plans of the European Union in the ongoing difficult situations, because in some time in the future, maybe we will have nothing to chose from.