SVP to Immigrants: Don’t Mess with the Swiss Flag

The Local, September 28, 2011

The vice president of pro-immigrant organization Secondos Plus has infuriated far-right politicians and others in Switzerland with his “humorous” calls for a new Swiss flag, contributor Meritxell Mir reports.

What started as a joke to provoke reflection on Swiss values has turned into a nightmare for Ivica Petrusic and Secondos Plus, an association for children of immigrants born in the country.

More than a month ago, Petrusic, the vice president of the lobby group, suggested the cross should be removed from the Swiss flag to bring it more in line with today’s “multicultural Switzerland.” In two recent interviews, Petrusic sought to defuse the issue. Instead, debate flared anew and now Petrusic faces threats from groups on the extreme-right.

During the presentation of the association’s candidates for the National Council on August 23rd, Petrusic made a remark about the city of Aarau, where he lives, and which once was the short-lived capital of the Helvetian Republic. There, for a short period in Switzerland’s history, foreigners had the right to vote. Afterwards, he brought up the former flag of the Confederation, a three-striped banner in green, red and yellow. The next day, his remarks made it into the news and were reported in the manner he insists they were intended: as a joke.

“All Petrusic was trying to do was get people’s attention through humour in order to make them reflect on the values of Switzerland, the past and the future,” Daniel Ordás, a Secondos Plus board member, told The Local. The association has more than 400 members, and the majority hold a Swiss passport.

But three weeks later the Aargauer Zeitung, a local newspaper, followed up and again asked Petrusic about the flag. Instead of explaining that it was a humorous way to bring up the issue of integration in Switzerland, the 34-year-old Christian Bosnian Croat made further remarks that added fuel to the fire.

He said that the old tricolour “represented a progressive Switzerland, open to the world,” as opposed to the current banner which “no longer corresponds with today’s multicultural Switzerland” because the country “has great religious and cultural diversity.” All hell broke loose.

It did not matter that Secondos Plus issued a statement saying that it was all a misunderstanding, and that it was not the organization’s goal to change the national flag. The damage was done.

Despite the clarification, it did not take too long for the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) to launch a media campaign against Secondos Plus. Immigration is the cornerstone of its political platform and an ad taken out by the SVP and published on Monday in the Swiss media read: “Immigrants, more and more shameless every day!”

Yvette Estermann, an SVP lawmaker, said the statement made by Petrusic shows “disrespect” towards Switzerland. She wondered “if the next thing will be to abolish Christian churches” in the country.

“As a way of getting people’s attention, it is a good move, but the problem is that this group is involved in politics, so this is outrageous,” said Estermann, an immigrant from Slovakia herself.

“It is unacceptable that immigrants give orders to their host country on what it has to do,” she told The Local. Estermann also leads the conservative immigrants group Neu Heimat Schweiz (Switzerland New Homeland).

For Marianne Binder-Keller, spokeswoman for the Christian-Democratic People’s Party (CVP), Petrusic’s meaning was clear. “I don’t think it was a joke, they were for real,” she said. “But they were later shocked about the reaction it provoked.”

Ordás, however, says that the conservatives should not protest so much, since Petrusic’s gaffe will likely garner them a lot of votes. “The biggest problem here is that this is something that everyone in the SVP wanted to be true because they needed a new reason to bring immigration back into their campaign,” said the executive member of Secondos Plus. “It has been a gift to them.

But beyond politics, there are deeper worries for Secondos Plus since the story started circulating in religious and extreme-right forums on the internet across the globe.

“We have received hundreds of e-mails with insults, requests for us to leave the country, and threats, including a dozen death threats against our vice president,” said Ordás. “Petrusic is quite scared and wants to stay away from public focus because we are taking these threats very seriously.” Still, threats will not prevent Secondos Plus from staying in politics, he added.

“They should not make too much of the death threats they are getting because every politician, including myself, gets them,” Binder-Keller said.

But what hurts Secondos Plus’s members most, said Ordás, is the correspondence from immigrants who call them “idiots” for having given votes in the upcoming general elections to the far-right SVP, which claimed 29 percent of the vote at the last parliamentary elections in 2007.

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • ATBOTL

    The problem immigrants in Switzerland are mostly from the former Yugoslavia and Albania.

  • (AWG) AVERAGE WHITE GUY

    A thought comes to mind.

    Legal immigrants to America say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Illegal aliens do not.

  • recividistic tendencies

    Whenever you hear a minority claim that the symbols of the majority “no longer represent our values and who we are because they have outlived their usefulness,” look for the symbol to be changed in the dark of the night and a new, updated, more inclusive symbol to replace the old racist one.

    Remember what Gov. Barnes did to the Georgia flag in a late night session?

    The minorities know that White Humanity’s flaw is that we always want to be up to date, and being declared as “behind the times” is a charge that always brings us into line so our minds can be enslaved and our daughters offered for the future horrors against which we will be too emasculated to resist.

    We all keep waiting for a horrific flash point after which everything changes back to sanity. We had one: 9/11. Now, we have more Muslims gaining control than ever. They used 9/11 to soften us up, and now they are sending in the second wave. They saw our weakness, and exploited it.

    We don’t deserve our symbols, for we have disgraced them with our cowardice. Furl the flag.

  • highduke

    Wikipedia cites stats confirming 56.4% of all Swiss Muslims are Albanians & Bosnians from ex-Yugoslavia. Rest assured it’s the same team that started the wars there in the 90s and that they are financed by the Albanian Mafia that stole organs from Serb civilians by conducting illegal surgeries on hostages after NATO occupied Serbia. GOOGLE: Dick Marty. The UN is about to start an investigation. It’s big news over there but the Western Media here are silent.

  • karsten

    Very appropriate that one commentator asked if the banishment of Christian churches will be next.

    1. As we have seen, in these discussions, all slippery-slope propositions are valid and prescient. Anytime anymore makes what seems to be an exaggerated suggestion about what could happen if things keep going the way they are, that horror is exactly what happens.

    2. This IS a war against the cross and against Christianity. It is Christianity vs. the new religion of Cultural Marxism. The situation is precisely identical to the war of Christianity against paganism two millennia ago, except that now, it is Christianity that finds itself in the position that paganism held in Constantine’s time, i.e., as a faith that’s on the decline as a new faith (left-wing politics as a materialist religion) is on the rise.

  • Strider

    The knee-jerk reaction of leftists when they say or do something outrageous — claim it was a joke. But the people are waking up. This was no joke, nor was Bev Perdue’s suggestion to cancel future congressional elections. The SVP’s extremely talented artists should go straight to work on this issue, perhaps with a poster of Muslims burning or tearing up the flag.

  • Anonymous

    Has ADL SPLC established a branch in Switzerland? Several other N. European countries have crosses on their flags.

  • Jim

    It wasn’t a joke until they realized people weren’t going to put up with his islamic garbage.

  • Dee

    This is what I LOVE about Switzerland. They haven’t allowed themselves to be wallowed into trying to be “politcally correct.” It’s wonderful. In USA, Britain or France they have parallel societies but not in Switzerland. Switzerland lets them know whose boss. It’s great!

  • Anonymous

    5 — karsten wrote at 8:01 PM on October 19:

    “2. This IS a war against the cross and against Christianity. It is Christianity vs. the new religion of Cultural Marxism. The situation is precisely identical to the war of Christianity against paganism two millennia ago, except that now, it is Christianity that finds itself in the position that paganism held in Constantine’s time, i.e., as a faith that’s on the decline as a new faith (left-wing politics as a materialist religion) is on the rise.”

    It IS ironic that the once highly violent Christian takeover of Europe with the persecutions of native non-Christians forced conversions, etc., is being visited upon the nominal Christian nations of Europe today. However, I DO think this is a matter of race first, and nomenclature second. The Knights Templar that founded the Swiss state were Christian by name, but their Norman temperament was Viking. Christianity became civilized (it did not bring civilization to Europe, but was changed by Europeans, eventually). I do not believe for one minute that Europeans can absorb one let alone multiple religions again, much less peoples. The Norman knights are my ancestors, and I would defend the Swiss state and flag as it is – against Diversity and non-white takeover of any brand.

  • Ryan

    I think a lot of people are missing something I find very significant and doesn’t usually take place, at least here in North America or emasculated England/France/Spain/Sweden.

    Threats! Death threats and intimidation are working on our side instead of being used by left wing nut jobs to destroy society. And instead is being used for once to preserve it.

  • Anonymous

    It is always refreshing to see a country which has a backbone.

  • Jack in Chicago

    This is a great propaganda opportunity for our side – pushy, alien immigrants boasting to change national flags, beloved national symbols – this pushes local Whites to get off their sofas and fight for our people/culture.

    I know that most American Renaissance readers are 100% honest, good folks. Maybe, I’m a little bit different having been raised on the South Side of Chicago – so I don’t have a problem with our side engaging in some black propaganda, dressing up as dark, hairy Muslim immigrants and threatening to end Thanksgiving, Christmas carols, beer drinking and making all (White) women wear the burka.

    Have some fun out there and learn to enjoy the fight.

  • Bardon

    As I said earlier- let this Yugo thing alone. This is not an issue here. But, since some commentators incessantly harp on imagined injustices done to Serbs’:

    1. Serbs started a genocidal war in 1991. They, who made up 36% of Yu federation, virtually stole the entire army which other federal republics financed (Serbia and Montenegro financed Yu Army with 36%, Croatia 28%, Slovenia 19%, Bosnia anad Herzegovina ca. 16% etc.). They stole the entire air force, and almost all of the tanks, mortars, howitzers, guns, MLRS, ships,.. And they, who made 11% of Croatia’s population, tried to conguer the entire country (failed), then ca. 70% (failed), and temporarily carved out-it was Yu Army which did it for them- 26%, being kicked out after four years. Serbs’ plan was simple- kill & expel virtually all of Croats, just like they have done a year later in Bosnia in the part they conquered- again, attacking virtually defenseless Muslims and Croats who succeeded to hold on areas mostly by smuggled light pieces of weaponry, while all those tanks and planes they’ve been paying for decades were killing them en masse for years.

    At the end, in 1995., Serbs’ in Bosnia were on the brink of the collapse, and only US idiocy saved them from the fate they engineered for Croats & Bosnian Muslims- to be completely cleansed & erased from the country for good.

    As for Albanians & the sensational news about their crime stats- a part of it is true. BUT, a lesson in history: a province of Kosovo, historically a Serb area, had become ethnically mostly Albanian around 1700 when masses of Serbs moved to the north, ethnically conquering new territory in southern Hungary, later called Vojvodina. When during the Balkans wars in 1912. Serbia occupied Kosovo, it was 65% Albanian & 25% Serbian. In short, near sighted imperialism costed Serbs parts of their ancestral lands. Had they divided territory with Albania, there would have been no Kosovo wars, interventions etc. But, they have kept an area where alien Albanian population naturally grew from 65% to 90% and the result was inevitable.

    The Serbs’ apologists on this site try to present them as some sort of Christian and Western allies against Islam, but this is complete nonsense. Serbs’ have been loyal Turkish subjects & allies for centuries- their culture is formed in Ottoman cultural milieu. As Ottoman power collapsed in the early 19th century, all Balkan Christians got their nation-states back- Serbs, Greeks, Bulgars, Romanians. Serbs simply tried to conquer other nations’ lands, be they Western Christians like Croats, or Muslims like Bosniaks, or a mixed people like Albanians (who are Muslims 60%, 20-25% Catholics and 15-20% Eastern Orthodox).

    So- stop this disinfo campaign. Serbs are bad guys in this story, and we all who fought with them (Slovenes and Croats, Catholics; Bosniaks- Muslims; Albanians-Muslims and Christians)- know that.

  • highduke

    If you want the truth about Croat Islamophilia, then GOOGLE: ‘Ante Starcevic and Bosniaks’. Starcevic, considered Father of the Nation by Croats, stated that Bosnian Muslims were ‘the flower of the Croat nation’ and the ‘oldest of all nobility’, plus the WW2 Nazi puppet state Independent State of Croatia shared Hitler’s pan-Turkic & pan-Islamic sympathies and implemented Starcevic’s policy building a giant mosque in Zagreb and recruited Croats & Muslims against Russia with the Vatican’s blessing

  • Bardon

    Ante Starčević didn’t care about Islam, but about Croatian national interests which could be best served if we- Croats, mostly Catholics, plus negligible part of Protestants and very large percentage of atheists- could somehow assimilate Bosnian Muslims into Croatian nation (anyway, very great percent of Bosnian Muslims are, “genetically”, Islamized Croats). There is no “Islamophilia” among us- and neither “Islamophobia”-but essentially an indifference to religious squabbles.

    His-and his followers’- project failed & Bosnian Muslims are now a separate nation, more & more islamized in customs and world-view. Before 1990., Bosnian Muslims were completely Western in outlook- from clothes to higher culture (many good modern painters among them- and “graven images” are forbidden in Islam), ate pork and drank alcohol in huge quantities (among three peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina, alcoholism is the Bosnian Muslim plague)- not to mention sex life, with hordes of Bosnian Muslim groupies virtually invading all Rock concerts of any prominence for a quick freebie.

    We, Croats, are now engaged in struggle, essentially low-intensity “war” with Muslims in our part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, since thanks to Dayton peace agreement & policy of Western “governors” of B & H – Muslims are getting legal, financial and political help FROM WEST to humiliate, financially exploit & push us as much as they can. It boils down to – leave Serbs in their half of Bosnia untouched, and compensate Muslims at Croats’ expense. Territorially, financially, economically, culturally, symbolically. BUT- despite growing islamization of Bosniaks/Bosnian Muslims, this remains national/ethnic struggle between two peoples who frequently use their religious culture as the identity symbol- but are NOT driven by religions’ imperatives & loyalties.

    That said, I’m glad Swiss officials dumped extremely idiotic “proposal” of Mr. Petrušić.