White-red-white flag in centre of Vitsebsk

An unindentified person hang out a national white-red-white flag on a traffic lights device not far from a bus stop in Vitsebsk. A video of the action is available on the Internet.

“The flag has been run up in the centre of Vitsebsk by patriots of the Grand Principality of Lithuania/Belarus in honour of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the the national liberation uprising under the leadership of Kastus Kalinouski,” authors of the video said.

In May, 2010 Siarhei Kavalenka, an activist of the CDP-BPF, received three-year suspended sentence for hanging out a white-red-white flag on the 40-meter New Year Tree in the main square of Vitsebsk. This action was defined as «major violation of public order».

The current national flag of is a red and green one with a white and red ornament pattern placed at the staff end. With a voter turnout of 64.7%, the new flag was approved by a majority in the ratio of three to one (75.1% to 24.9%). The way of carrying out the referendum as well as legality of questioning the national symbols on a referendum was heavily criticized by the opposition.

After the 1995 referendum rthe white-red-white flag is used as a symbol of the opposition to the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, most notably at the protests after the 2006 and 2010 presidential elections and at mass rallies on Freedom Day celebrations as well as Dziady memorial marches. The flag is not officially banned from public usage, but is treated by the authorities as an unregistered symbol which means that demonstration of it by political activists or sports fans can lead to arrests and confiscation of the flags.



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