When nationalism turns bad

Today is the 17th of May, the Day of Constitution in Norway, though many erronously refers to it as Day of Independence.

A little about the history of that day. Norway as in union with Denmark for a long time, several hundred years in fact. But after the napeolonic wars where Denmark had allied with France. The winning aliance decided to punish Denmark by giving Norway to be united with their allied Scandinavian country, Sweden. At this time there was a strong nationalistic and national romantic movement in Norway as in much of Europe. A group of influential persons met at Eidsvold and drafted a constitution inspired of the French and United State constitutions, and this was signed on May 17th 1814.

So what happened by independence? Norway was still given to Sweden in union, but this change and the constitution had given hope to the nationalists, and more independence was demanded. Full independence was achieved in 1905, June 7th according to Norwegian Parliament, though the Swedish throne officially resigned the crown of Norway on October 26th.

Childrens Parade
Childrens Parade

The Norwegian day of Constitution is something special, its celebration revolves around children, with children school parades, hot dogs, games, flags, and playing outside until late evening.

But the flag is a constantly returning topic when discussing the day. Modern nationalists pop into media each year demanding a ban on using any other flags than the Norwegian. This is where nationalism turns bad. A growing part of the population have roots from other places in the world, and adding their flags to the sea of Norwegian flags shows the colorful diversion we are becoming.

I have absolutely no problem seeing other flags during the parade. In fact, I would be proud if my kids born abroad displayed the flags of both their nationalities, but Far Right Extremists are fighting against that.

Fly whatever flag you want on this day, and fly them with pride.

Read more about the constitution here.

Read more about Constitution Day Celebration here.

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