This year, as in previous years, the flag debate is underway.
Should flags other than the Norwegian flag fly on the May 17 trains, or is the day reserved for our own red, white, and blue?
The May 17 organizers in Bergen said that all national flags were welcome in their procession. In Oslo, the May 17 committee recommended the use of the Norwegian or Sami flags, or the UN flag.
– We recommend it because we celebrate the Norwegian constitution, and then it is most natural to use the Norwegian or Sami flag, Sarah Lilleberg Safavifard (SV), head of the Oslo May 17 committee, told Dagbladet.
The UN flag was also recommended because human rights are part of the constitution, said Safavifard further. He also pointed out that they don’t ban other flags.
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– Proud tradition
On Twitter the May 17 committee in Bergen shared that they are open to all flags.
– 99.9 percent of them are Norwegian, but as generous and open as us, so please show where you are from, they wrote in a Twitter message.
Opinions in the comments on the post were divided. Some wrote that the organizers needed to improve, and that day was for the Norwegian flag. Others have been very positive and supportive of the message.
Mayor of Bergen, Linn Kristin Engø, said they would be happy to invite another flag.
– We have a proud tradition in Bergen of not limiting ourselves to the Norwegian flag, and we are happy about it, says Engø.
– What do you think of the criticism regarding the use of other flags?
– Those who think that having more flags on the train is challenging May 17th, please take a trip to Bergen and see what a beautiful celebration we have.
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Ukrainian flag on the train
Last year MDG politician Eivind Trædal encouraged people to fly the Ukrainian flag on trains.
– Constitution Day is not only a celebration of our country, but also a celebration of the values and rights shared by people all over the world, whether they were born in Moss or in Mariupol, wrote Trædal.
Engø says that there are many people up for the challenge in Bergen. There were several blue and yellow flags visible in the crowd.
– We have had an international city for many years and we think May 17 is the right day to show it, said Engø.
Citizens’ cars and children’s cars
Safavifard in the Oslo May 17 committee said that there were differences in the May 17 celebrations in the two big cities. In Oslo, there are no public trains, like in Bergen.
Citizen trains aim to pay homage to the people, and are primarily used to differentiate them from children’s trains, according to the Norske Store lexicon.
– The most important thing is that the children have fun on Children’s Day, and they can get on the train, wave the flag and say hurray, he said.
Safavifard in the May 17 Oslo committee said they had yet to receive a strong reaction to their recommendations.
– The flag debate is big, but it’s primarily children’s day, and that’s the point, he said.
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