Non-competing countries and states may not have their flags waved within the halls of this year's Eurovision, with the organisers revealing an attempt to crack down on attempts to politicise the event.
Only slogans written in English and the language of the host country are allowed too, just in case someone tries to sneak in something inflammatory or overly political in a niche local dialect that only their sworn national enemies understand. The official flag advice [PDF] also bans selfie sticks, which is nice. It's good to know we live in a world in which it's fine to discriminate against people who have selfie sticks.
A spokesperson for the European Broadcasting Union, the umbrella collection of broadcasters that organise the screening of the event, said: "It is important to state that the flag policy is not aimed against specific territories or organisations and certainly does not compare them to each other, but merely aims at assuring that the broadcast is free from the aforementioned messages and to assure that venue and security staff can enforce this policy upon entrance without delaying the entrance of some 10,000 people."
And only flags on plastic sticks are allowed. Try to enter the venue with a metal or wooden flagpole and you'll have it taken off you.
2016 is an important year for Eurovision too, as it's being broadcast in the US for the first time through VH1 owner Viacom's Logo channel. Impress that lot and maybe next year we'll get Britney over. [Independent]