Armenian Flag at Council of Europe Disappears

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’sent a note of protest to the leadership of the Council of Europe on August 1 against the mysterious disappearance of its national flag displayed outside the Strasbourg headquarters of the human rights organization.

The Foreign Ministry in Yerevan said the red-blue-orange flag was found to be missing on July 30 from one of the 46 flagpoles in front of the building’s main entrance that carry the national banners of all Council of Europe member states. A ministry statement said a plaque on the metal pole bearing Armenia’s name was found twisted.

"The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Armenia is vehemently protesting against that act and is demanding that the Council of Europe take necessary security measures on its territory and prevent the national symbols of its member states from being vandalized," it said.

According to the Foreign Ministry–a top aide to Council of Europe–Secretary General Terry Davis–apologized for the incident but said the organization’s security service is only responsible for what happens inside the sprawling building.

"Control of the territory outside the building is carried out by the French police and the latter have already been notified about what happened," the statement said–adding that a new Armenian flag has already been hoisted in place of the missing one.

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