The Kremlin has tasked “flag experts” to investigate whether the flag of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous region is gay.
The Jewish flag contains the rainbow, and someone was apparently concerned that rainbows might now be illegal under Russia’s draconian new anti-gay “propaganda” law.
The rainbow, including rainbow flags, have been adopted as the symbol of the international gay civil rights movement.
Fortunately, as Miriam Elder of Buzzfeed reports, Kremlin flag experts (the “l” is apparently silent) have concluded that the Jewish region has nothing to fear.
There will be no flag-bashing today, as the flag is definitively not gay. (Though it might be curious when it drinks a lot.)
Seriously. This is what Russia spends it’s time doing. Having experts analyze flags to make sure they’re not gay. How, in any case, can you tell if a flag is gay? See if it knows that the word “butcher” is both a noun and an adjective (well, a comparative at least)?
Things just get messier and messier as we approach the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Russian government’s clampdown on its gay and trans citizens, and its growing paranoia – as evidenced by flag-gate – only goes to show that concerns about hosting the Olympics in Russia were hardly unfounded.
If the Kremlin has to task experts to make an official determination as to whether a Jewish flag is gay, then what is Vladimir Putin going to do when a real gay flag is unfurled during the Sochi Olympics by a gay, or gay-friendly, athlete?
If the Russian Interior Ministry is to be believed, that athlete is going to be arrested.
If every day Russians don’t even know if their flag runs afoul of the law – and actively worry about it – how will Olympic athletes, from countries around the world, have any better idea about their own actions?