British MPs from the Brexit Party display a Union Jack on their desks during a session of the European Parliament, October 22, 2019. - Jean-Francois Badias / AP / SIPA

  • MEPs from the Brexit Party and the National Rally were moved Monday, having to remove flags in the colors of their country present on their desks in the hemicycle of the European Parliament.
  • They had been able to display flags in the colors of their country in previous sessions, just as other MEPs had displayed European flags.
  • Parliament said it had applied the rules of procedure on Monday.

Do MEPs have the right to display a flag on their desks in the European Parliament's hemicycle? The question has been agitating since Monday French RN and British elected representatives of the Brexit Party. Monday, when the assembly began a new session, Brian Monteith, elected from the Brexit Party by Nigel Farage, explained that he could no longer deploy the Union Jack on his desk in the hemicycle.

"The pettiness of banning our flags on our desks - as well as those of the French, Germans, Czechs and other countries sums up the bureaucracy of this place," he explained on Twitter. They have been licensed for years - why now! ? Of course, this will only encourage international protests… ”

The pettiness of banning our deskflags - and those of the French, Germans, Czechs and other countries sums up officialdom in this place. They have been allowed for years - why now !? Of course it will only encourage international protests ...

- Brian Monteith (@TheBluetrot) January 13, 2020

Nigel Farage then took up the subject, writing: “Our Union Jacks have just been removed from our desks in the European Parliament, on the orders of the President. National symbols are now prohibited. Thank goodness we're leaving. His tweet has been shared more than 14,000 times and liked 49,000 times in less than 24 hours.

On the French side, Florian Philippot, former MEP today at the head of the Patriots, assured Monday evening that "the European Parliament has just banned national flags on the desks of deputies". Jordan Bardella, RN MEP, explained for his part that “all RN MEPs proudly displayed our national flag in the hemicycle at each meeting. The Socialist President of the Parliament [the Italian David Sassoli] decided to ban them. For them, everything that reminds the European nations must simply disappear. "

🇨🇵 All RN MEPs proudly displayed our national flag in the hemicycle at each meeting.

The Socialist President of the Parliament decided to PROHIBIT them. For them, everything that reminds us of the European Nations must simply disappear!

- Jordan Bardella (@J_Bardella) January 13, 2020


Were flags displayed during previous sessions of the European Parliament, as Jordan Bardella maintains? Photos from the October 22 and September 18 sessions show Brexit Party MPs flying the British flag at their desks. Other elected officials display European flags, while a majority does not display any flags at his desk.

MEPs sit in Strasbourg on 23 October 2019. European flags are visible on certain desks. - Michel CHRISTEN / SIPA

What happened on Monday in Strasbourg? Contacted by 20 Minutes , Brian Monteith and Jordan Bardella did not respond to our request.

The European Parliament explains to 20 Minutes that “the rules of procedure of the European Parliament provide in its rule 10 that the members, that is to say the deputies, do not display either a banner or a banner. It is this provision which was implemented by the services again Monday at the request of the president. "According to article 10, paragraph 3," the deputies do not disturb the good order in the hall and abstain from any inappropriate behavior. They do not display banners or banners. "Parliament clarified that" this is by no means a new rule, it is a recall and a withdrawal linked to the existing rule. "

However, the flags of the 28 member states remain present in the hemicycle: they are placed in an arc behind the president.

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