Please keep an eye on your flags and mascots at all times

Over the years the flag stealing game in AEGEE has developed to a battle in between locals in stealing not only flags, but also mascots and toilet paper belonging to other locals or their members.

Pre-Agora Skopje 2011 participants with the stolen AEGEE-Sofia flag

If you ever consider taking the risk of stealing a flag or another valuable item from another antenna, there are a few things to consider at first. The base of the game is that the aim is to steal a flag or an icon from another local in order to bring the locals closer together, but it is not as simple as it sounds, there are rules.


The basic rules of the game

You can steal everything from the presidential hammer, flags and receptions books till mascots, things with logos etc. when it is publically exposed. It does not count if you take it from personal belongings or in the house of your host which happened when AEGEE-Madrid mascot Retirito was stolen. It had to be given back, without any punishment, because the game has to be done in fair-play.

Faruk is trying to steal AEGEE-Lund/AEGEE-København flag

Now you have the possibility to identify what you can steal, the next step is to know how. First of all, one of the main rules is that you have to steal the item unnoticed/leaving the room without getting caught or you will have to give it back. This is the part where you analyse your opponent and the nearest exit.

During EBM Izmir 2012 Faruk Sayin, President of AEGEE-Canakkale, seemed to have analysed the exit but forgot to analyse his opponent Ilker Bildircin when he tried to steal the twin-flag of AEGEE-København and AEGEE-Lund. Faruk started running towards the nearest exit but Ilker caught up with him and tackled him in true American football style, which is exactly what Ilker practices in his spare time.


A good excuse to enjoy some beers

If you actually do manage to escape with the flag, it is time to come up with an idea for the punishment. The rule is that you are allowed to come up with a punishment that the local has to do in order to get the flag back, as long as the antenna agree to do it.

AEGEE-Budapest in flag-stealing action

This is what happend when AEGEE-Budapest  representative Gábor Pető stole AEGEE-Passau flag during an AEGEE conference with social business as a theme in Passau.  During the event AEGEE-Passau put the flag up everywhere in order to promote AEGEE, but Gábor had something else in his mind. It was an event full of new AEGEE people who were unaware of the flag stealing game, so Gábor found a co-partner in crime from Passau with whom he managed to steal the flag after one session.

Gábor explains the story saying:  “We stole the flag after a session on the last day, but it was quite adventurous. That day it was put in the biggest conference room and it was always crowded. When we almost took down the flag a girl came up to us asking whether we liked the program of the event etc. Later we found out that she was the president of the local, but she did not notice that we are about to steal her flag, which was quite funny because the flag was literally in our hands.”

The flag was returned at the Agora Skopje in which a beer-drinking competion was held between AEGEE-Budapest and AEGEE-Passau because of the interest in Bavarian beers. This all proves that it actually do bring the locals together.


A flag about to be returned to its owner after being away from home for many years

Another succesfull story contains AEGEE-Izmir legendary members Berat Ezel and Ufuk Bal who stole the AEGEE-Europe flag one month before Agora Izmir in 2005. AEGEE-Praha had organized AEGEE’s 20th year celebration event “The Happening.” The flag was stolen in the Czech Senato Building where the workshops and the plenary meetings of the event took place.

AEGEE-Izmir’s member  Tunca Ayyilidiz tells the story with a smile: “The way they stole the flag makes the whole story even funnier, because the two guys recognized that the flag was on the table in the plenary hall and there was only one person from AEGEE-Europe next to the flag, doing some things

AEGEE-Izmir revealing the punishment for the CD house during EBM Izmir

on the table. They asked him for a “scissor” and the guy was so helpful that he gave it to them. But the thing is that they asked for this scissor to cut the strings which attached the flag to the table. So in a blink of an eye, while he was not looking, they took the flag and ran out of the plenary hall.” The flag has yet to be returned to the CD house and the punishment was actually given during EBM Izmir ’12 which requires the CD to send a historic and symbolic item from the CD house in Brussels to AEGEE-Izmir and then the flag will be returned.


AEGEE-Peiraias looking forward soft accomodation during Agora Enschede ’12

These are only two examples of numerous “crimes” that have taken place in our organization, and the creativity regarding the punishment task is indeed wide. AEGEE-Oviedo’s representative Juan Sordo Barriero had to speak negatively about Asturias in a duration of five minutes during the Network Meeting (NWM) in Porto after the WDEE flag got stolen.

Others are more experience flag-stealers such as AEGEE-Peiraias representative Manos Valasis who was responsible of two punishmnets during Agora Skopje. He managed to steal the AEGEE-Enschede flag when it was left ungarded before the opening plenary which required AEGEE-Enschede to sign an agreement that they will provide lucky AEGEE-Peiraias members with up to 12 members

Proof of AEGEE-Enschede's signature on agreeing to provide 12 beds for AEGEE-Peiraias

with beds during the upcomming Agora, in order to get it back. Another flag that Manos had managed to steal during a visit to the CD house in Brussels belongs to AEGEE-Zagreb. CD member Marko and other representatives from AEGEE-Zagreb had to entertain the Agora participatns with performing “I just had sex”, which they succesfully managed to do and got their flag back.

The last case includes Chair team members Yvonne Antonovic and Percin Imrek who entertained a full plenary room during Agora Skopje with their cover version of the Danish pop plague “Barbie Girl” after the Where Does Europe End flag was stolen.

In the end, do not be scared to bring mascots and flags to AEGEE events but hold on tight, especially during Agora’s and EBM’s.

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København

Main Photo courtesy of Tunca Ayyildiz, AEGEE-Izmir

Thanks to Tunca Ayyildiz, Dasha Panther, Deby Gabisson, Hara Kogkou and  Gábor Pető for providing pictures. 

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