Heard in Europe

The Eurovision Song Contest has banned the flags of bloodthirsty terror group ISIS from their famously flamboyant fiesta.

The Boom-Bang A Bang contest, run by the European Broadcasters Union (EBU), was left red-faced after a list of banned flags for the Stockholm shindig was leaked.

On the list, the widely-despised black flag of the fundamentalist nutters lurks alongside Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabach and the Basque Country.

But Heard in Europe can reveal that the banned list is by no means exhaustive.

It also includes the St George’s Cross of England, the Scottish Saltire and the Welsh Dragon. Not to mention, the Catalan and Palestinian flags as well.

Why the need for such a swingeing flag fatwa? Well the ISIS flag falls foul on three of the restrictions on what can be waved at the contests.

Technically the contest is between public broadcasters , which represent their countries.
Any flag must be of a participating country/broadcaster or of a nation recognised by the UN. ISIS is not taking part in the contest and is not a country recognised by the UN.

ISIS also falls foul of strict rules guaranteeing the apolitical nature of the contest. No slogans or writing on flags is allowed.

A spokesman said ISIS flags were banned for “all three reasons plus the obvious security concerns”.
Countries like England and Wales do not participate as themselves in the contest, but as the UK.
Likewise the UN recognises the UK and Spain as a nation but not England or Catalonia.

There are two exceptions to the rules – the EU flag and the Rainbow flag. The EU gets special dispensation because of the large number of member states taking part and the Rainbow flag because it “celebrates diversity”.

Eurovision is rightly proud of its commitment to diversity. Not for nothing is it popularly referred to as “gay Christmas” – a term that would definitely upset ISIS on a number of counts.

“It was not the intention to single out particular groups,” said the Eurovision spokesman. “It was a non-exhaustive list of examples. The document was for internal use only and should not have been published.”

In other Eurovision news – Romania has been kicked out the contest for not paying its EBU membership fees.

Photo courtesy of ISIS Karaoke and Twitter.

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