"Disturbances from flag halyards must be considered as small. Such disturbances have to be endured."
Supreme Environmental Court
Ruling 2007-01-26.

Read and listen

"Smattrande flagglinor inget miljbrott"
TT/Kjell Rynhag, 2007-01-26

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Svea hovrtt
Dom 2007-01-26 (M 1744-06)

Stockholms tingsrtt
Miljdomstolen, avdelning 9
Dom 2006-02-02 (M 165-03)


"Sweden is a fantastic country"
Hard Rain no 13

Hard Rain    No 24    January 30, 2007
A defective verdict
Could hoisting the flag really be an environmental threat? There was no answer to this question in a recent decision from the Supreme Environmental Court.
The famous flag case from Vrmd (Stockholm region, Sweden) has taken one more step - but hardly forwards. Torbjrn and Sylvia Nilsson in Gustavsberg are still not allowed to flag whenever they want. Their appeal was sidestepped by the Supreme Environmental Court.

Hard Rain, standing up for freedom of speech and "freedom of hoisting the flag" raised the question last year, after having read a decision by the lower Environmental Court (see Hard Rain no 13). It seemed rather important to carry the case to a higher court.

The decision from the county administration and the Environmental Court had been quite a shock for the Nilsson family: no flags on the staff with the exception of official flag days and family celebrations, but not more than five days a month. The penalty for breaking these rule is a fine of 1 000 . Astounding!

When the Nilsson family, with qualified support from their counsel Torsten Persson, appeals to the highest environmental court, the appeal is rejected on formal grounds.

  More than one person definitely feels cheated. Here was a chance to examine a couple of interesting questions about the right to hoist the Swedish flag. Is this a question for authorities and courts? Is it an environmental matter? Could hoisting the flag really be classified as an environmental threat?

When do we get the answers to these questions? Well, we have at least one answer: We have to endure disturbances from the flag halyards. Those are words of the Supreme Environmental Court and this decision can not be appealed.