JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli students visiting Poland have been asked to stop wrapping themselves in the Israeli flag.
Two longtime leaders of youth delegations to Poland said in a pamphlet that wearing the flag is disrespectful and against the 1949 Flag and Symbol Law, Ha’aretz reported Thursday.
They also are trying to draw a distinction between the serious visit and "stadium culture," according to the newspaper.
"The students’ use of the flag is more reminiscent of behavior in football stadiums than memorial services," said Gideon Goldstein.
About 25,000 students participate each year in delegations to Poland organized either by the Education Ministry or by the schools. The Education Ministry has previously ordered students not to wear flags, but it has not been enforced, Ha’aretz reported.
The flag "helps students cope with the intense feelings aroused during the visit," a teacher told Ha’aretz.
Another teacher said the students’ use of the flag demonstrates "defiance against the Poles and a sort of revenge. It is entirely unnecessary."