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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

London XXX Olympiad: Nationalism on an International Stage

London XXX Olympiad: Nationalism on an International Stage
The Games of the XXX Olympiad have come and gone, and left behind many myriad Flag related incidents. 
The London Olympics turned out to be an unqualified success, to the surprise of nearly all observers…. The Olympics present an unparalleled opportunity for countries to indulge in a display of nationalism on an international stage. They represent the acceptable face of nationalism – “good nationalism” – in contrast to its usual associations with xenophobia, ethnic conflict, war and genocide. The Olympics has been what Isaac Souweine describes as “nationalist theater” since its inception. He writes that “In the first London Games (1908), athletes marched into the stadium behind their respective flags; though not before the English and Russians tried to prevent the Irish and Finns from displaying their colors. The nationalist symbology of the Games would not be complete, however, until the first Los Angles Games (1932) introduced the now familiar victory ceremonies in which medal winners stand on a victory podium while flags fly and anthems play.” It was also tinged with racism – the International Olympic Committee (IOC) originally explained that the colors of the five rings (blue, red, yellow, black and green) represented the five continents. In 1951 it changed its story, saying the colors were merely taken from national flags.
Long may it wave: Flags made a big fashion statement at the London Olympics.
Patriotism and the games have always gone together, but gone are the days when one just waved a flag. Now flags are worn, seen all over London and especially at Olympic Park and other spots where the games are being played. Photograph by Ben Curtis, The Associated Press.
We had earlier discussed, vide, post dated 1 August 2012 that the LOCOG's unconditional apologize to the North Korean authorities for flashing South Korean flag alongside the images of North Korean footballers. A mistake that put the Games official at a loss of face even before the official inauguration of the Games . 

And the uproar created in what is now christened as Chinese Taipei following the removal of Taiwan’s National flag (Formerly Formosa) from the array of other national flags from a London street.
Today, we shall present more Flag related news mostly compiled from internet sources;
Three athletes from the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee, which had its membership withdrawn by the IOC Executive Committee at the IOC session of June 2011, and one athlete from South Sudan, which has no recognized National Olympic Committee (NOC), participated independently under the Olympic Flag. This is the third time that athletes have competed as independent participants in the Olympics.

 Don’t be a dip 
Being chosen to carry the American flag should have been a career highlight for two-time gold medalist Mariel Zagunis. Instead, through no fault of her own, she was embroiled in a mini-controversy over whether it was appropriate for her to follow custom and dip the flag as she passed in front of the queen. Following the guidelines of the USOC, she didn’t dip … and it turned out most people didn’t care.
Read more:
Model protests 'Taiwan flag removal' with naked photos

The model's surname, Huang, is also Chinese for Pornographic. (Photo/Li Kun-chien)

A Taiwanese model has shot to fame after posting a semi-naked photo of herself with  strategically placed national flags of Taiwan following the controversy at the Olympic Games in London, reports China Times. Huang Shih-ting, a 23-year-old model based in Hsinchu in northern Taiwan, decided to show her support for her country after the flag of the Republic of China — the official name of Taiwan — was removed from a row of national flags raised over Regent Street in central London on July 24. The flag was replaced with that of Taiwan's Olympic committee a few days later, almost certainly due to political pressure from the People Republic of China.

Olympic officials apologize over  seizure of Taiwanese National Flag

London Olympic officials have apologized over the rude seizure of a Republic of China National Flag at the women's under 57-kilogram taekwondo event Thursday, Taiwan's representative to the United Kingdom said yesterday.  The incident occurred at the end of the bronze-medal match between Taiwan's Tseng Lin-cheng and Finland's Suvi Mikkonen, in which Tseng eventually beat her rival to clinch bronze, Taiwan's second medal at the games.  To celebrate Tseng's victory, a Taiwanese man waved a large R.O.C. Flag, but it was snatched from his hands by a member of the venue's security staff.  Representative Shen Lyushun, who witnessed the incident, said that he was very surprised at the way the security officer handled the matter, and acted immediately to protest to Olympic officials at the venue.  After reviewing video taken at the scene, the Olympic officials agreed that the action was improper and offered an apology.  Due to Beijing's opposition, Taiwan competes in the Olympics and other international sporting events under the official moniker “Chinese Taipei,” and uses the ‘Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee flag’ in place of its National flag.  The model was established based on an agreement signed in 1981 between Taiwan and the International Olympic Committee. Taiwan recently reached an understanding with organizers of the London Olympics to allow spectators to bring small R.O.C. flags into venues.  Many Taiwanese spectators, however, have ignored the restriction.

London 2012: Counterfeit Olympic flags seized at Heathrow
Olympic bosses fiercely guard the rights to the Olympic rings
Customs officials have seized 10,000 counterfeit Olympic flags at Heathrow Airport.  The Flags, which display the Olympic rings on a white background, could be sold for about £100,000, the Border Force said. They were sent from China and were due to be delivered to an importer in Norwood, south London. The importer of the flags is not thought to have been aware they were fakes. LOCOG confirmed they were not official merchandise and they will now be destroyed. Border Force Heathrow director Marc Owen said: "Counterfeiting is not a harmless crime - it is a huge criminal business estimated to cost the UK economy around £1.3 billion a year. "For the gangs behind it, it is low-risk and high-reward. "In the run-up to the Olympics we have been working closely with LOCOG to thwart those who would seek to illegally profit from the Games and protect UK consumers from the fakers."

Aboriginal Flag Games Controversy

Posted by: 2UE | 31 July, 2012 - 8:36 AM 
 Australian boxer Damien Hooper had caused controversy at the London Olympic Games, for wearing a t-shirt embalzoned with the Aboriginal Flag
 The Australian Aboriginal Flag is a flag that represents Indigenous  Australians. It is one of the official "Flags of Australia", and holds special legal and political status, but it is not the "Australian National Flag". It was designed in 1971 by Aboriginal artist Harold Thomas


 Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte earned Team USA's first Gold medal  at Saturday's (28th July) men's  400 meter individual medley, but he's got some other bling that he's just as proud of: His American flag-themed grill. However, Lochte's jewel encrusted stars-and-stripes accessory -- worn across his top row of teeth -- nearly cost him his medal, it was reported Saturday. ESPN's Wayne Drehs tweeted that the 27-year-old swim phenom was told that he wouldn't receive his Gold, if, he wore the bling on the winners' podium.
 A South Korean soccer player who held up a sign with a political message after a victory over Japan did not get a bronze medal when the Olympic medals were handed out in a ceremony to the rest of his team. Midfielder Park Jong-woo is under investigation by the IOC and soccer's governing body, FIFA, for displaying the sign with a slogan supporting South Korean sovereignty over disputed islets that are claimed by both his country and Japan. The largely uninhabited islets are called Dokdo by South Koreans and Takeshima by Japanese. The IOC and FIFA have statutes that prohibit political statements by athletes and players.
 No Scottish National Flag on the Olympic Venues/Stadiums
London Olympic chiefs have confirmed that the Scottish flag will not be allowed to be flown over Hampden Park when Olympic football matches are taking place at the stadium. In a move that is sure to spark controversy, it has emerged that under a contract signed by London with the International Olympic Committee, the Saltire will not be allowed to be flown. The revelation followed an enquiry by SNP MEP Alyn Smith who was concerned that rules governing the staging of the games would have meant that fans attending football matches would not have been allowed even to wave the Scottish flag.  Organisers were forced to admit that whist fans would be allowed into Hampden with Saltires, that it could not be flown over the stadium. According to the contract signed by the organisers of the London Games, only the Union flag, the London 2012 flag or the Olympic flag will be allowed to fly over Hampden. Mr Smith called the rule “ridiculous” and "unacceptable" and said:“It’s still completely ridiculous and unacceptable that Scotland’s national flag is going to be pulled down from its iconic place flying over Scotland’s national stadium.“The saltire normally – and quite properly – flies above Hampden 365 days of the year.  Forcing it to be taken down in this way will not only anger many home-based supporters, but also disrespects our history and nationhood.”  Mr Smith welcomed the committee’s decision to allow the waving of the Saltire by fans and added:“I’m naturally pleased that I have managed to pressure the organising committee in London into allowing Scottish games fans to take their national flag in with them.“Their agreement to give way on this just makes the ban on flying the Saltire over the stadium itself even more farcical.  I hope they see this and reverse this decision too.  It would cost them nothing but earn them huge respect and goodwill.  
 Scottish players representing the team GB with Union Flag
The Scottish Saltire – the diagonal cross of St. Andrew, white on blue – has become ubiquitous in a country that since 1998 has had a limited form of self-government within the United Kingdom. The Scottish National Party now governs Scotland and seeks to transform its limited autonomy into independence by means of a referendum to be held in 2014.