Eurovision Bans Palestinian, Islamic State Flags from Song Contest

Romanian band Voltaj perform during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Vienna on May 19, 2015

The Times of Israel reports:

The Palestinian flag this week appeared on a list of banned banners for the Eurovision song contest, alongside the Islamic State group flag and others.

Under Eurovision rules, regional flags, those belonging to federated states, or including commercial, religious or political messages, are all banned. Authorized are the flags of countries participating in the contest and any other UN member state, as well as the EU and rainbow banner that represents the LGBT movement or peace.

Eurovision said a draft version of the flag policy was published by mistake on the website of the venue and the ticket agency selling seats for the extravaganza, hosted this year by the 2015 winner Sweden. Contest spokesman Dave Goodman told AFP that “the flag policy is not aimed against specific territories or organizations, and certainly does not compare them to each other.”

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