A History with the Luxembourg Flag

In 1995, after diplomatic service at the Lithuanian Embassy in Brussels, I came back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Vice Minister.  One of the first tasks I had to meet Mr Jacques Poos, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, in the VIP lounge at Vilnius Airport.

After greeting the Minister, I noticed that he looked surprised at the flag on the table in the VIP lounge. Oh my Got! I noticed that instead of the Luxembourg flag, there was a flag of the Netherlands. I was well aware that the flags of these two countries are very similar: the Luxembourg flag is with a light blue colour and the Netherlands flag with a dark blue colour. So, I jokingly said that this was the flag with the lightest blue stripe that Vilnius Airport has (the other two colours – red and white – are the same in the flags of Luxembourg and the Netherlands). The Minister did not emphasize too much of this embarrassment. He was more concerned about his missing suitcase, because his travel jacket did not look very formal.

The story with the Luxembourg flag did not end that day. In that evening, Minister J. Poos had an official dinner with Minister P. Gylis at the hotel “Draugystė”. I went to the hotel “Draugystė” directly from the airport. At the entrance to the hotel, I saw the Luxembourg flag flying, but it was upside down. Initially reluctant to follow my instructions, the hotel staff managed to hang the flag correctly before the Minister arrived. A second incident in one day with the Luxembourg flag would have been too much.

Algimantas Rimkūnas

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