What it means when we hoist foreign countries’ flags during the World Cup
On the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, something unusual happened in Bangladesh. A freedom fighter filed a writ petition to prevent fans from hoisting up flags of foreign countries during the World Cup. Thankfully for fans, the High Court dismissed the petition.
With the 2022 World Cup right on the horizon, every balcony and rooftop around the country will soon be adorned with the colours of football powerhouses again. Given the high levels of enthusiasm and passion from fans, it seems unfair that they might face restrictions in flying the flags of their favourite teams during the event.
We must not forget that the FIFA World Cup only comes around once every four years. For football fans, the World Cup is simply not "just another tournament." Special events need special celebrations, so hoisting foreign flags pales in comparison to the magnitude of the stakes at play.
Our undying love for football has been well-documented over the years. Although Bangladesh National Men's Football Team never got anywhere near the World Cup, the fans' passion for other nations really stood out. Flying flags of our favourite teams not only shows how much we care for our favourite teams, it also allows the world to see first-hand how fervently we love football.
Supporting nations from far-flung continents and hoisting their flags promotes a sense of inclusivity among the populace. It can even go a long way towards debunking myths Bangladeshis might have about foreign countries. Learning more about diverse cultures helps in developing a sense of togetherness between the countries, which can potentially contribute to reducing discrimination and prejudice.
A deep look into the flags reveals the tales of struggles and the natural wonders of a country. Not only do they enhance our cultural knowledge about a country, they also allow us to get a vague idea about the natural beauty of a particular country.
Take Brazil for example. The green represents their vegetations and wildlife, while the yellow represents their abundance in gold. The blue globe and stars signify the star-filled nights and the states of Brazil. For Germany, their flag represents the German Reich, national unity, and civic freedom in their tri-colours.
This shows just how special of an experience flag hoisting is for fans. That being said, fans should be mindful and respectful towards the teams, even the ones they do not support. It's a fan's responsibility to adhere to specific rules about flags in order to make sure that no nation is being disrespected amidst the celebrations and anticipation. To make sure of that, it's imperative to ensure those flags are untampered and should also be stored properly with care after the World Cup.
As fans, it's natural we will be passionate, but we must not forget to enjoy responsibly and respectfully.
Inqiad is a long-suffering Man United fan and a self-proclaimed Targaryen. Contact him at [email protected]