Columns & OpinionsUnlike many other countries, we can wave a rainbow flag on television without any problems and in complete freedom. I expect nothing more than to see an ocean of rainbow flags during the broadcasts of the Eurovision in Rotterdam in May. by Rick van der Made
- 08 February 2020
|75 years of Freedom|
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A freedom that was obtained seventy-five years ago.
That fact is of course also cause for celebrations. You can view the entire program on the website 4en5mei.nl. It promises to be an impressive commemorative year. Perhaps you can hang the rainbow flag you have purchased for the Song Contest on the flagpole or out of the window on the Fifth of May. This year, with Eurovison in mind, I would like to add the motto “Show your Freedom” to the motto “Pass Freedom On” (Geef vrijheid door).
It is not entirely coincidental that in the same month of May, the Invictus Games, initiated by Prince Harry, are organized in Amsterdam in the Zuiderpark. Over five hundred soldiers who were mentally or physically wounded during their period of service, will compete in various sports.
It is important to realize that a (high) price is usually paid for freedom. And I believe that freedom can only exist if we continue to commemorate - and thank - those who fought for that freedom.
Last year, one of those British veterans was in the news. Joe Ousalice (sixty-eight and bisexual) was employed by the British navy for years, but was fired in 1993 because of a ban on GLBT+ people in the army. “After the court-martial, a man with scissors came in and cut the medal off my neck,” the veteran said in an interview with the BBC last December.
After nearly twenty-five years, Ousalice finally got back his military award last month. This was with the apologies from the British Ministry of Defence.
I think this veteran story is worth a raised rainbow flag in the Zuiderpark.
There is more this year
After thirty-five years, Formula 1 returns to Zandvoort, and some matches of the European Soccer Championship will be played in the Johan Cruijff Arena.
With all the justified attention paid to the fight against discrimination and racism in sports, it should be a good idea to hoist a rainbow flag once more in Zandvoort and in the Johan Cruijff Arena. That may, for this occasion, well be a rainbow flag with a brown and black bar attached to it. It’s all the same to me. As long as all forms of discrimination are eliminated as quickly as possible.
There will be more flags waiving this year as Sail Amsterdam is coming. This straight version of the Amsterdam Gay Pride is being organized for the tenth time. Since 2020 is such a special year, I think it must be possible to find at least one skipper who wants to raise the rainbow flag.
Then - to top it all - the United Nations has been in existence for seventy-five years on October 24.
The year in which there are seventy-one countries in the world, recognized by the Netherlands, in which homosexuality is still punishable.
The year in which the death penalty for homosexuality still exists in a dozen countries in the world.
The year that in Poland, there are now eighty GLBT+ free zones.
A year in which Hungary will not be participating in the Eurovision Song Contest because it is supposed to be “too gay.”
I propose to festively decorate the Peace Palace in The Hague on October 24 of this year.
I propose to wrap the entire building with an immense rainbow flag and wrap it with a beautiful pink bow that our king, in the presence of all world leaders, can cut with a pair of pink scissors.
As a beautiful gift of freedom to the world.
Show our freedom this year!
I wish you all a great 2020.
N E W