Moscow, February 13, 2017
A scandal has broken out in Moldova over the distortion of the national flag during President Igor Dodon’s recent trip to Iran. Specifically, several media outlets drew attention to the fact that the cross was missing from the flag.
The Moldovan leader, who is also the President of the republic’s chess federation, participated in the opening ceremony of the Women World Chess Championship in Iran last Friday, reports Sedmitza. Behind the president was the Moldovan flag, but noticeably absent was the cross in the eagle’s beak and the scepter.
Journalists have accused the president of profaning the national symbol, recalling that he won in the recent presidential elections under promises of defending Orthodoxy and Christian values. Others, however, have noted that, in fact, the hosting side is responsible for supplying its visitors’ flags.
“For reasons of political correctness, the leadership of Muslim countries remove crosses and other Christian symbols from the flags of other states. This is practiced in many states professing Islam, and, of course, the president has no relation to this practice,” notes the pro-president site “Notebook-Moldova.”
A similar picture was published from a previous trip to Antalya, Turkey as well, also with the cross removed from the flag.
President Dodon wrote on a social network page, “The president does not answer for the flag during a visit, but the receiving country. As a rule, the embassy deals with these issues, but Moldova has no embassy in Teran. We’re working it out. I’m going to have a meeting with the president of Iran. If they don’t have the true state flag of the Republic of Moldova, I will insist that it be removed.”