12 April 2013

The Clashing of Symbols

A few days ago the flag of the European Union (EU) was raised above the Prague Castle, seat of government for the Czech Republic. It is the first time the flag has flown over the castle since the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004. Not everyone is happy about this symbol of authority being raised at the castle. In fact, the issue was raised with me by my neighbor, who thinks this is a despicable act.

A think tank associated with former President Vaclav Klaus has criticized the move severely. A paper circulated by the group says
  ...”apart from the Czech flag only the Nazi flag flew over Prague Castle - during World War Two.
Not even the communists dared to hoist the Soviet flag at the castle, the think tank writes.” (see full story here).
Klaus was known as a “Eurosceptic,” keeping an arms length from the European Union, especially the “Euro Zone,” of which the Czech Republic is not a member, continuing to use its own currency the Korunna. New President (since March) MiloŇ° Zeman is considerably more favorable to Europe, even signing the latest bailout accords, the most recent attempt to shore up failing Euro Zone economies.

All was not quiet as the flag was hoisted. According to an Associated Press story,
A small but noisy demonstration on Wednesday tried to drown out the ceremony at Prague Castle, where Zeman stood alongside European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
With a smattering of tourists watching as the flag was raised alongside the Czech one, several hundred opponents booed and whistled. One sign demanded a referendum to vote on whether to quit the EU.
The Free Citizens Party, which organized the rally and is aligned to Klaus, launched a petition campaign Wednesday to hold a referendum on terminating EU membership.
"We're looking forward to taking the flag down one day," said party chairman Petr Mach, whose group is not represented in Parliament. (story here).
Flags are a symbol of sovereignty. When a nation is conquered, the flag of the victor is flown over its castle. National sovereignty seems to be the enemy of those who seek a cozier world of one nation and one government. It is not a minor thing that citizens of this nation, so often overrun by enemies (Austro-Hungarian Empire, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia) would feel queasy over yet another non-Czech flag being flown over their castle.

There is one form of sovereignty which will neither be diminished, nor destroyed. That is God’s sovereignty over His creation. An entire study on this doctrine would be worthwhile for any of my readers. Let us just leave it at this: The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:19, ESV).

No comments:

Post a Comment