07/06/2015

Renewal of Aberystwyth's small nation flags


It’s very common to see the flags of various long-established nations fluttering in the breeze on the promenades of seaside towns, like those on Aberystwyth’s South Prom. However, since 1990, the town's North Prom has also displayed the flags of twenty European stateless nations and peoples. 

At the time, the original supporting booklet for the project explained,
“When a Welsh person visits another country it is often the case that a display of flags is encountered adorning some public building or space. More often than not the Red Dragon of Wales is not found amongst them. Realising that inhabitants of minority nations throughout Europe probably experience similar disappointments, the District Council of Ceredigion has resolved that as many as possible of the flags of Europe’s minority nations should be flown at Aberystwyth every summer.”

Since then, three of the places originally represented - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - have become fully fledged nation states and there have been many other changes around Europe, so it felt like about time to have a revamp.

Ceredigion Council therefore consulted the organisation behind the original project - The Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture based at Aberystwyth University - and they recommended a renewed list of flags which are now up and flying in all their glory.

With twenty places available, not all the possibilities could be included. The flags chosen for display this year are, in alphabetical order: 
The AromaniansAsturiasThe Basque Country
BritannyCataloniaCornwallCorsicaFlandersFrieselandFriuli
GaliciaIsle of ManKashubiaOccitania
The RomaniSaamiSardiniaScotlandSorbiaWales.

The small nation flag display on Aberystwyth’s North Prom is, as far as I’m aware, absolutely unique. It educates and points to an alternative, bottom-up view of nations and cultures that feels like a distinctively ‘Aberystwyth’ way of looking at the world.

1 comment:

  1. OK. I've now received two anonymous racist comments / 'jokes' about an ethnic group mentioned in this article. The first I let through to show the sort of nonsense some ethnic minorities are constantly subject to and because it seemed relatively mild. I've now had a second, probably from the same person (pretty sure who) so, on reflection, I've decided to delete them both because racism is racism, 'mild' or not, and I don't want to be partly responsible for circulating that stuff. I'm sure the person (they never have the courage to give their name do they?) thinks these 'jokes' are funny and I'm being po-faced. I'd advise UKIP supporters not to read this blog if the content offends them.

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