The talks between major political parties Hezbollah (Party of God) and the Mustaqbal party (Futur Party) have brought to the table the political slogans. They both decided to remove them and it was reported that Hezbollah removed slogans in Saida and Mustaqbal removed slogans in Tripoli.

Once as I was leaving my building I noticed multiple new political flags hung every 5 meters under the building. I was outraged because the building wasn’t a political bureau. It was a building where civilians, not politicians, lived.

The moment a political party (or supporters) put flags and slogans in public places it means one thing : This is my territory and here lives my supporters. 

The moment political parties put flags everywhere, they transform into militias (symbolically or not), the neighbourhoods transform into supposedly strongholds even when they are mostly habited by politically inactive civilians.

Worse, during periods of turmoil and tensions, those flags and slogans become the indicator for “enemies groups” : alias this neighbourhood belongs to this party, so it is a legitimate target. They also become the indicator of “victories” : removing a flag and putting a new one.

in the following years of the 2006 War and the very tensed period between Hezbollah and Mustaqbal (or March 14 and March 8) the Lebanese flag became the symbol of March 14 really, as a response to Hezbollah flags. This road was dangerous because it was a symbol of state separation. “We have the Lebanese state flag and you have your”Hezbollah land flag “.

Beirut Governor Ziad Chebib oversees the removal of political posters in the neighborhood of Hay al-Lija – Daily Star courtesy.

Political flags should only be put where they belong : on officially recognised political bureaus. 

Maybe this step will bring Lebanese citizens closer, and with time, we will not have to think when being in a neighbourhood that : “This belongs to that political party, “they” are against “us” so I better get out of here”

PS : the flags under my building were removed.

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