Court orders Székelyudvarhely to remove flags of sister cities

The mayor of Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc will have to remove Hungarian flags from his office and the council chamber inside the Mayor’s Office building. The decision was made by the Bucharest Tribunal in a case initiated by the Civic Association for Dignity in Europe (ADEC), led by Romanian blogger Dan Tanasă.

The news of the ruling was communicated to the town clerk this Thursday. Dan Tanasă is well known for his consistent attacks against the Hungarian minority living in Romania. He was one of the main speakers at the  Úz Valley cemetery incident last June when a Romanian–Hungarian conflict similar to the Black Spring of 1990 was avoided only by a hair’s breadth.

Székelyudvarhely has reached agreements with many Hungarian settlements to be a sister city. “Since the town is connected with multiple sister cities, we have decided to exhibit every symbolic gift received from them in spaces that aren’t public. According to Romanian law, the number of spaces where you can exhibit other countries’ flags is limited; however, the city hall’s two chambers cannot be classified as public spaces,” the town clerk told Székelyhon in an interview. The allegations by the association led by Tanasă are intolerable and profoundly offensive and disgraceful, he commented.

The official justification for the ruling is on its way to the city, so the management of Székelyudvarhely will decide whether to appeal only after reading it. “We believe that it is unacceptable and that it isn’t a diplomatic gesture by city leadership to remove the gifts we’ve received. It would show disrespect to the communities we have international agreements with,” the clerk added.

Mayor Árpád Gálfi naturally will comply with final rulings, but in this case, the court’s decision is not yet final, Attila Ember, the mayor’s spokesman, said.

Author: István Fekete