Old SA flag banned from stadium

2010-03-01 13:10
Cape Town - The old South African flag has been banned from Cape Town's 2010 soccer stadium, along with items such as teargas and pointy umbrellas.

The flag is on a list of forbidden items displayed at entrances to the 68 000-seater showpiece, which on Monday hosted a whistlestop visit from a group of invited local and international media.

It is listed just above "banners or flags with content that can reasonably be considered to be sexist, racist, vulgar, discriminatory, inflammatory or offensive".

Also banned are fireams, ammunition, knives, and any sharp or pointed metal object which could be reasonably considered a dangerous weapon.

"Even an umbrella with a long extending metal point could be regarded as such," the notice says.

Embarrassment

Cup local organising committee chief Danny Jordaan said he was unaware of the restriction on the old flag, and did not know if it was in force at other 2010 stadia in the country.

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said what had happened at upcountry sporting events where people displayed the old flag had "caused some embarrassment".

"We don't want that same embarrassment to take place here," he said.

"We want rather to say to people, the old South African flag is not a recognised national flag anymore and we don't want people unnecessarily to embarrass South Africa and to embarrass Cape Town."

"Let us rather be patriotic and act as good patriots of the country.

"If you're a South African, for what reason are you going to bring a flag which is not a national flag anymore? What are your motives for it?"

In some quarters the old flag, with its blue, white and orange stripes, is seen as a symbol of the apartheid regime, and considered highly offensive.

However others point out that it predated apartheid by some 20 years.

It was replaced in 1994 with the current multi-coloured flag.

- SAPA
Read more on:    danny jordaan  |  dan plato  |  cape town  |  2010 swc
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