One day while out for a ride, I noticed something in the grass by the bike path: a tiny Danish flag planted proudly in a lump of dogshit. Hvad er det?! Is this some way of warning other people not to step in the poo, or a way to shame the dog owners who left the poo behind in the first place? Maybe someone planted the flag as a way to find the poo again later, and were returning with a plastic baggie?
Eh, no, that would mean that people regularly walk around with tiny Danish flags in their pockets, but well, that wouldn’t surprise me considering how much the Danes love their national flag. It flies everywhere in town, and it’s a pleasing and cheery sight – a burst of color against an often gray and gloomy sky. But c’mon, given the reaction you can get by eating smorrebrød the wrong way, you’d think that a Danish bæ-flag might land you in jail for a night, or at the very least, given cold æbleskiver without any powdered sugar.
Turns out that this is not just the work of some lone poo-prankster, it’s a growing national trend that has been promoted, in part, by the local governments. See here: http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Ligetil/Dagens_fokus/Indland/2015/03/Kommune__Saet_flag_i_hundelorte.htm
“We need everyone in Greve to help. For some dog owners forget to remove the shit, says Anne Pihl Rasmussen. The flag is to say, ‘Hey, we want that you remove hundelortene, otherwise there is some other, hanging on them,’ says Anne Pihl Rasmussen. When setting a flag in a shit, you commit to later remove both shit and flags.”
Needless to say, you would never see this back in the US, where there are criminal penalties for any kind of flag desecration. Still, marking those poor, abandoned piles of hundelort is a nice concept, so maybe we just need to come up with a better flag. Here’s my suggestion: