Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Not Everyone Wants to Break Up

Lots of talk recently about how Belgium is about to break up: and good riddance too. It was only created in the 1830s as a way to annoy France anyway (something it's been doing successfully since then which would be one reason that it would be a shame if it went missing). However, not everyone is happy about the idea:

A growing debate about the potential division of Belgium has led to a surge in sales of Belgian flags as opponents of separatism seek to display their patriotism.

Belgians are accustomed to flying the black-yellow-red tricolor on the king's birthday, July 21, but in recent weeks far more flags have been hung from windows and balconies, particularly in the capital, Brussels.

"In the last couple of weeks sales have tripled. I'd say we've sold two, three, four hundred flags and it's private individuals we are seeing coming in," said Walter Michiels, who owns a business selling flags in Brussels.

Kristel Cartentier of flag and print business Artemis said she too had noted a tripling of sales.

"People are coming in saying they want to show their support for Belgian unity," she said.

The national anthem, the Brabanconne, has also become the most downloaded tune for use as a mobile phone ring -- among French-speaking Belgians.

Two things are worth noting. The country has been without a Government for over 100 days now and you know what? Life goes on. Wish this would start a trend.

The other is that it's the Walloons, the French speakers, who are buying the flags. As they are subsidized by their richer, Flemish, compatriots, this might really be just cupbaord love, don't you think?

1 comment:

Falco said...

I look forward to massive sales of the Union Jack in Scotland.