SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 23 September 2021, Thursday |

Ignoring Lebanon’s flag, and the submissive diplomacy

Article 5 of the constitution states that “the Lebanese flag is red, then white, then red in horizontal segments, and in the middle of the white color comes the cedar, with its green color. The size of the white section is equal to the size of the two red sections together. As for the cedar, it is in the middle, its head touching the upper red section, and its base touching the lower red section, and the size of the cedar is equal to one third of the size of the white section.”

The Lebanese flag has a holiday, which is on November 21, a day before the Independence Day. The Lebanese celebrate this flag, which is raised by students in schools and universities.

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, when he was head of the military government between 1988 and 1990, and in more than one press conference, when he was referring to the Lebanese flag in front of the flags of parties and militias, he used to say: “The Lebanese flag comes first and should be larger than other flags, that should be smaller and placed in the back.”

On Saturday September 5, and during the visit of the Lebanese delegation to Syria, the Lebanese flag was ignored, and the constitution was insulted in front of the eyes of a Lebanese delegation that included the Deputy Prime Minister and two ministers. The Lebanese flag was not raised alongside the Syrian flag at the front of the hall that included the Lebanese and Syrian delegations.

This situation is not a coincidence, because in Syria every step is considered even if it is to place the flag of a country they consider “brotherly.”

Syria does whatever it wants on its land, but what about the Lebanese side? Shouldn’t the delegation have asked for the Lebanese flag to be raised alongside the Syrian flag? Or did the delegation consider the issue marginal and secondary? Did they fear the breakdown of the talks, although they know that the decision of importing Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity is greater than that of Lebanon and Syria together, and that no one of the countries especially Syria, have the ability to object it?

How much dignity and vigor it would have been if someone from the Lebanese delegation had objected the absence of the Lebanese flag!

But it seems that the fear of ending the talks prompted them not to mention the issue.

Even if negotiations collapse, Syria’s problem will be with Egypt and Jordan more than it is with Lebanon.

Is it the fear of suspending the import of electricity from Jordan and the import of gas from Egypt? Syria with this performance, would be blocking the road to Jordan and Egypt and not only to Lebanon, meaning that the Lebanese authority has the cards of Egypt and Jordan in its hands, so why to be afraid?

Perhaps official Lebanon did not believe that Lebanon and Syria are independent countries and that there is a diplomatic exchange between them. It is true that there is Syrian disrespect for Lebanon, but it is also true that there is official Lebanese submission.

Article 384 of the Penal Code states: “Contempt for the flag is the behavior of the defendant in which he directs a phrase, sign, or movement that would impair the principles and meanings mentioned above, such as trampling on it, burning it, tearing it or even writing offensive words about it.” How do you ignore it?