Kill the Flag


Almost a month ago I read in the Rotterdams Daily newspaper an article
about the Romanian flag at the international flagparade on the boulevard
Boompjes in Rotterdam. Some Union guy was walking with some Romanian
guests over the Boompjes the other day, and they saw the Romanian flag
waving next to all other nations. But it wasn’t the Romanian flag of today, but
the one with the weapon of Ceausescu. The Romanian visitors were stunned
about it, which is ofcourse logical. It’s strange that a flag like this waved in our
free Rotterdam a month ago. In these days I saw about 8 or 10 North Korean
flags waving on the Vaste Land. Really weird, especially from out of a car
position, and especially if you don’t know that there is an exhibition about North
Korea (The world according to Kim Jong II) at the Kunsthal located in that same
street. It’s funny that there is rumour about this Romanian flag, but not in the
case of the North Korea flags. It’s because they’re located at an art institution.
Of course it’s good that within art institutions there is freedom in general. But I
found it weird that I haven’t seen an article about these North Korean flags
waving up there.

Anyway I heard a story about our very popular Mayor in Rotterdam A.A. van
der Louw
(between the years 1974 and 1981), he raised a red flag once on our
town hall on the 1st of may. Of course our city has been socialist since I can
remember, but this went too far in the eyes of the public. He even put an
aureole at the tomb-stone of Mao.

I was really amazed by the exhibition about North Korea. I went there with
two Bulgarians, they ofcourse looked very different towards the posters and
paintings from the collection out of the city Pyongyang. Anyway, on my birthday
the 15th of June (in the year 2000) North Korea and South Korea signed an
agreement about sharing a represent flag at international maifestations. On the
poster on the right you’ll see an illustration which shows the affidavit between
Kim Jong II and Kim Dae Jung (South Korea) representing the agreement. In
the poster on the front you’ll see a North Korean man with a pin. and you’ll see
South Korea is represented by a student. And you’ll see a woman wearing a
traditional Korea outfit with a band around her arm with the text Korea is one!,
with a picture of the representing flag that will be used by international
manifestations, such as the past Olympics in Athens. It’s a blue silhouet of the
peninsula on a white field.

To finish this crazy flag vibe; I don’t really know, I think it has to do something
with the Olympics from the past weeks…

photo Romanian flag by Jaap Rozema/Rotterdams Dagblad
photos North Korean posters by Teddy Liho, Bulgaria