Displays of Flags and Symbolic Colors

Displaying flags and symbols are an effective method of non-violent protest. Various groups have used a multitude of techniques throughout history to get their points across. Flags are often burnt, and this shows dissatisfaction with the current regime. Countries quickly develop their own flag, and secessionists have used their own symbols to help unify their causes.

Burning flags is a popular form of non-violent protest that has been used for centuries. This method has gained public recognition. Many citizens disprove of this approach, but it is highly effective. Flags are used by countries and groups to arouse the emotions of their members. When these symbols are burned, this is one of the best non-violent methods to ensure a person lets others know they are opposed to the actions of their country.

History is full of stories about the use of flags for non-violent protests. One story has to do with the visit of Emperor Franz Josef to the Hungarian capital, Pesth, in 1865. When Josef arrived in the city, there were many who opposed the Austrian rule of their country. They protested his arrival non-violently. Residents of Pesth flew flags of an independent Hungary during the emperor’s visit. These flags were green, white and red. At first, when the emperor saw all of the flags flying in the city he was greatly pleased. However, as he noticed that these flags were not in support of Austrian rule, the emperor was disappointed and furious.

Another common method of protest is displaying a black flag. During the Indian uprising against British rule in the early 1900s, many Indians began to fly the black flag across the country. The Tamils flew the black flag in Pakistan during the 1950s to condemn the incorporation of Kashmir into India.

Picketing is another valid way of protesting. Picketers are common in a number of protests and are perhaps most famous when a union goes on strike. Picketers surround the building of their employers to show their solidarity to generate support for their cause. Students are another example of protesters that rely on the use of pickets to further their cause. Protesting with pickets is a highly visible way for people to draw attention to their struggles. Picketing will usually last for several days and may even extend for years in certain circumstances. This form of protest is most apparent in countries that provide considerable civil liberties.

Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.

Also check out The Politics of Nonviolent Action Part One / Part Two / Part Three.

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