Greek flag is a hot potato

In yet another incident of the sort, pupils at a Thessaloniki high school refused to attend lessons yesterday as a protest against an Albanian classmate carrying the Greek flag on behalf of the school in the October 28 parade. Students at the school, in the Harilaou suburb of Thessaloniki, said they would not take part in celebrations unless the proposed flag carrier, an unnamed 15-year-old Albanian girl, was replaced by a Greek. They did not indicate how long they would boycott their lessons. The schoolgirl achieved top marks in her class and won the right to carry the flag. She has refused to step down and the next two students in line say they will not replace her so as not to give the impression they stirred up the matter. This is the latest in a spate of similar incidents that seem to be snowballing, with the parade – marking the anniversary of Greece’s entry into World War II – still over a week away. On Monday, an Albanian schoolgirl in a Peloponnesian village put an end to the sit-in protest by her classmates when she decided not to carry the Greek flag.