news

Six activists subtly flew the rainbow flag at the World Cup in Russia despite the gay propaganda law

The Hidden Flag project saw five people wearing different coloured football shirts

2018-07-10

Six daring football fans are secretly revealing a hidden message of tolerance during the World Cup in Russia.

Back in 2013, the Russian government passed the homophobic gay propaganda law, meaning any promotion of homosexuality is illegal and has led to a rise in LGBT+ hate crimes.

However, during the World Cup, LGBT+ football fans were promised a football tournament without discrimination and many went against the propaganda law and featured the iconic rainbow flag on football memorabilia.

But six international activists found a way to “wave the flag with pride” by wearing multi-coloured football shirts of their home countries, which subtly shows the rainbow flag.

Known as the Hidden Flag project, they wrote on their website: “We have taken advantage of the fact the country is hosting the World Cup at the same time as Pride Month, to denounce their behaviour and take the rainbow flag to the streets of Russia.

“In the plain light of day, in front of the Russian authorities, Russian society and the whole world, we wave the flag with pride.”

A number of photographs of the ‘rainbow flag’ have been posted online showing the activists posing at the Moscow metro, outside the Kremlin and other tourist destinations.

The activists include Spanish Marta Marquez – whose team wears red, Dutch Eric Houter who donned an orange jersey, Brazil’s yellow jersey is worn by Eloi Pierozan Junior.

Guillermo Leon, from Mexico, admitted he was “really nervous” and “very proud” to wear his green jersey for the campaign.

Argentinian Vanesa Paola Ferrario wore the blue and Colombian activist Mateo Fernandez Gomez wore the purple and pink jersey.