This summer I spent my vacation in the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on the planet. But relax… this isn’t another boring holiday description of snowclad mountains, white beaches, green forests and lovely people. It’s about a flag.
Nowadays Corsica is part of France, and if you search long enough you’ll eventually find an occasional “Tricolore”, for example in the Northern city of Calvi, where the French Foreign Legion has a garrison (2ème Régiment Étranger de Parachutistes at Camp Raffalli).
Nevertheless, the Corsicans are a proud and independent people, so they fly their flag everywhere, be it on buildings, ferries, sports facilities and even Coca-Cola cans. But this flag isn’t the “Drapeau Tricolore”, it is something very different, indeed: A decapitated (!) black head on a white backdrop.
The history behind this unusual symbol goes something like this: All throughout its history Corsica has been plagued by Muslim pirates, mainly the Moors. Hence the local saying: “Nothing good comes from the ocean”. So in order to defend themselves they built watchtowers all along their island’s vast beaches (the concept was later copied by the Irish) and erected spikes with cut-off Moorish heads in order to deter the enemy. Sometimes they paraded those spikes around the island, and the idea had the desired effect: Although surrounded by hostility on all sides — African Barbaristans to the South and Dhimmi-nations to the East (Italy), North (France) and West (El-Andalus) — Corsica is Muslim-free territory, even today (Please don’t tell the EU).
Walking around in Corsican cities is a pleasure: no “youths”, no women in black tents, no burnt-out cars, no vandalism, no screaming and ululating. Pork sausages, beer (“Pietra”) and good wines available everywhere. Music and dancing in the peaceful streets — the good life.
But everything comes to an end: I had to leave for home, eventually. When checking in at Bastia Airport I was taken out for “frisking”. Now — being as Danish as they come — my appearance isn’t exactly what’s called “of Middle Eastern complexion”, so I asked why.
The “flics” chuckled: “Well, you see, we have to do something, right? But we have no Muslims here!” And then they pointed to the overhead Corsican flag.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Danish reader Kepiblanc sends this account of what he did on his summer vacation:
Posted by Baron Bodissey at 8/15/2006 10:50:00 AM