Danish finance minister wants a count of the nation’s flagpoles

Political leaders baffled by “stupid” request

On 11 January, the Finance Ministry instructed all state institutions to make a spreadsheet detailing the number of flagpoles at each location and then submit it to the ministry.

Since the ministry offered up no explanation as to why they have made what looks like nothing more than a busy work demand, many people are wondering what the point is for the entire effort.

Henrik Dahl from the Liberal Alliance has called the count the most stupid thing he has heard of in years and predicted that it will be a leading candidate for this year’s most moronic idea.

Pernille Skipper from Enhedslisten is filing a formal request for information, known as a ‘ paragraf 20’ question in Denmark, demanding an explanation from Claus Hjort Frederiksen, the finance minister

“It may not be the most serious question I have ever asked, but it is not completely stupid to want to know why resources are being used on something like this,” Skipper told DR Nyheder.

A minister is duty-bound to respond to paragraf 20 inquiries.

Flags flying everywhere
Most visitors from outside the country quickly realise that Danes have an intense relationship with their beloved Dannebrog.

From birthday parties, baptisms, weddings to just your average, everyday piss-up, the flag is always there.

There is actually a group, Danmarks-Samfundet, which publishes a guide on the proper use of the flag.

Way up north
And one does not have to even technically be in Denmark to see the red and white.

Members of the Slædepatruljen Sirius, the Sirius sledge patrol – an elite Danish navy unit that conducts long-range reconnaissance patrolling, and enforcement of Danish sovereignty in northern and eastern Greenland – plant flags at the far reaches of the Arctic’s forbidding landscape to warn the Russians and everyone else who may get the wrong idea that they are indeed encroaching on Danish sovereign land.

The Sirius Patrol has the ability to engage militarily, but mostly they spend months at a time without human contact save their fellow team members to, well, plant flags. Crown Prince Frederik has patrolled with the Sirius Patrol.

READ MORE: National flag’s dubious origins as a banner from heaven

No word on whether the Finance Ministry expects a count of the Arctic flags.