EKRE MP changes Estonian SSR flag story, now calls it publicity stunt

Estonian SSR flag being placed outside the Writer's Union building in Tallinn, early on the morning of Saturday, July 22, 2023.
Estonian SSR flag being placed outside the Writer's Union building in Tallinn, early on the morning of Saturday, July 22, 2023. Source: PPA

A Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) MP who was filmed at the weekend aiding in the flying of the flag of the Estonian SSR from outside a building in Tallinn's Old Town now says that his actions were a planned protest, regional daily Saarte hääl reports. Earlier, the MP, Jaak Valge, had claimed he was unaware of what the other individual he was helping at the time had intended to do.

As reported by ERR News, security footage taken just after 5 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, July 22, revealed Valge aiding a man in attaching the flag of the Estonian SSR to a wall, which also displays a bas-relief of Juhan Smuul (1922-1971), of the Writers' House (Kirjanike maja) on Harju 1, in Tallinn's Old Town,

Valge says that while the stunt was not his idea and has nothing to do with his party, he participated in its planning from the outset; when the story first broke the MP had said he merely aided the individual, who he said was unknown to him, after the man had approached him in the street asking for help.

Valge said that he gave this other version of events to a Delfi journalist who contacted him, who found the explanation amusing and, Valge said, understood that the prank had been intentional and not incidental.

"This performance was done in order to gain the attention of the media, but in this case it is not practical to explain everything right away," Valge went on, noting that he made no attempt to conceal himself from the security camera and in fact appeared before it "deliberately."

Juhan Smuul was not only a writer and chair of the Estonian Writers' Union, but also a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Estonia, a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union and of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR, and secretary of the board of the Union of Soviet Writers. He also stands charged with being involved in the 1949 deportation of Estonians, by the Soviet authorities.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Saarte hääl

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