The Stationsweg in the Frisian capital has added the Scottish saltire in place of the Union Flag, along with the other 27 EU member states
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Leeuwarden seems to be anticipating Scotland’s leaving of the UK and ascendance into the EU; replacing the British flag that hung on the Stationsweg in the centre of the city with its Scottish equivalent, as reported by the Friesch Dagblad.
The flags were first installed for Leeuwarden’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2018, with one flag per EU-member state. Due to rust on the flag poles, the whole series had to be refurbished, and one was left vacant in anticipation of Brexit.
“I considered whether to ask for the Union Flag to be changed to the EU’s flag, or a rainbow flag”, said Sjoerd Feitsma, the wethouder for culture in Leeuwarden. After a visit to the Robert Burns festival last weekend in Edinburgh, Feitsma decided to use the Scottish saltire instead.
“I considered how unhappy Scottish people seem to be that they are no longer EU citizens, and that they had to remove the EU flag from the Scottish parliament building. There are already plans in Edinburgh to possibly hang the EU’s flag outside of the official parliament building. Then I thought: we can also do something here!”, said Feitsma.
Leeuwarden has recently signed a partnership agreement with the city of Edinburgh to collaborate on cultural projects within the Eurocities network, and as a City of Literature.
Feitsma has pointed out that the Scottish flag being hung is intended as a light-hearted commentary, but that there are no plans to remove it at the moment. “It’s not hanging by any official building, and so we can decide which flag we hang there ourselves”, he said.