Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Signature for white-red-white flag to be filed to Ministry of Culture

charter97.org

One thousand of signatures for including the national white-red-white flag in the Cultural Heritage List of Belarus will be filed to the Ministry of Culture today.

The campaign to collect signatures was launched on June 5 by BMAgroup, Art Siadziba and Rock Solidarity groups, Radio Svaboda reports.

Pavel Belavus, Art Siadziba director and initiator of the campaign, says about 60 people sent signature sheets from all Belarusian regions. Most signatures were collected in Minsk, but people from Dziatlava, Cherven, Maladzechna, Vileika, Kletsk, Mahilou, Vitebsk, Homel and other towns joined the campaign.

Rock Solidarity group released the CD "Symbol of belief and freedom".

The petition was signed by about 1,000 people. Signature sheets will be handed over to the Ministry of Culture and their copies will be submitted to the department of archives and record management of the Ministry of Justice and the President's Administration.

The petition calls to "reconsider the question of adding the white-red-white flag to the Cultural Heritage List of Belarus or give another status to the national relic, which currently doesn't have any status."

Campaign initiators remind the authorities that the white-red-white flag has an long history and had been the state flag of Belarus in 1991-1995.

"Adding the white-red-white flag to the Cultural Heritage List of Belarus or giving it another status will facilitate reconciliation, mutual understanding and peace in the country," the authors say.

The Ministry of Culture replied to a similar appeal in 2010. Officials said the white-red-white flag couldn't be included in the Cultural Heritage List, because the flag had became a symbol of the Belarusian People's Republic on proposal of BPR state secretary Klaudzi Duzh-Dusheuski only in early 1919.

Campaign organisers decided to remind the authorities that the first president of Belarus swore in under this flag.

"If it is not recognised cultural heritage, we may cross out the first years of Belarus's independence, when it was the state flag," Pavel Belavus thinks.