The Mayor of the Transylvanian village of Nagybacon/Bățanii Mari was fined because the cleaning woman of his office put a mourning ribbon on the national flag hanging outside the building, mourning the death of a municipality employee.
The prefect (government-appointed administrator) of Kovászna/Covasna county, Sebastian Cucu said “I know that is an old custom, but have discussed the issue in previous meetings several times and a black flag can be displayed, but not in this way”. He added that Romanian law does not have any paragraph allowing a mourning ribbon on the national flag. (The law doesn’t prohibit any such addition, either).
Nagybacon Mayor András Simon told Romanian news agency Agerpres that they had no intention to “defile” the Romanian flag. “They blew this out of proportion. We have always done it like this. Besides, it wasn’t even me, but the cleaning lady. When I came back from the funeral, a representative of the prefect told me that this not right. Far be it from us to have had any ill intentions. I am not an extremist, I am a loyal citizen and I am very sorry that it was misinterpreted in this way.”
In recent years there have been several instances when Transylvanian municipalities have been fined for displaying the Hungarian or Szekler flag, but none when a fine was levied for a mourning ribbon.