to think my neighbour might wise to remove his flag?

(88 Posts)
IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:43:33

I just think in the current climate that it might be ill advised to fly a Polish flag.

I'm not against national pride and patriotism. I don't particularly like seeing the St George's cross - unless it's St George's day.

I just think it might not be a good idea at the moment. Am I being a twat?

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:44:14

Especially considering all the UKIP fans out there...

whattodoo Fri 03-May-13 14:44:34

Why is it I'll advised? I don't understand.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 03-May-13 14:44:49

Do you live in an area where there are thugs who may use it as an excuse to treat him badly?

ElleMcFearsome Fri 03-May-13 14:46:31

Argh - these are the sorts of questions that are upsetting me (not you upsetting me, btw!) I don't want to live in a country where people can't fly their national flag without fear of recriminations.

My worst thought of the day: coalition government in 2015 between Conservatives and UKIP <goes off to weep>

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:47:58

I don't want him to make himself a target. There are a few unsavoury characters about - as I'm sure there are everywhere. There does seem to be a very anti-Polish feeling in our local area at the moment and this only seems to be growing. I'm not suggesting he hide away but I'm just worried that people will be dicks.

ouryve Fri 03-May-13 14:49:19

That's his lookout, isn't it?

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:49:26

Me too Elle - I don't think there should be an issue around it, but there just seems to be a growing anger out there.

MaxPepsi Fri 03-May-13 14:50:28

Why is he flying it and for how long?

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:50:44

Good point ouryve. I just wonder as I look out there.

ElleMcFearsome Fri 03-May-13 14:51:16

I'm hearing more anti Eastern European rhetoric (we have a mix of folk, not just Polish in our neck of the woods) than I did a few years back. Had sharp words with DDs friend a week or so ago, who's a sensible, thoughtful lass on the whole, about not generalising - she was saying that town was a lot less safe at night due to the fear of assault from Eastern Europeans. No evidence whatsoever to support this, makes me very sad that it's getting more common the express these sorts of views.

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:51:19

It was up a few weeks ago and then all the UKIP campaigning started and he took it down. Now it's up again...

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:53:01

People do seem to think it's ok to be anti-Eastern European - that's not racist, type attitude.

she was saying that town was a lot less safe at night due to the fear of assault from Eastern Europeans Tell her she would be speaking German now if it wasn't for brave, wonderful men like my Polish grandfather who died over France defending Great Britain after his own country fell. This should be taught in schools at the moment.

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 14:59:36

Good point, well made. We certainly should be educating the young to help them to understand the complex nature of our history, all of the players and contributors. It might help combat negative attitudes.

ElleMcFearsome Fri 03-May-13 15:00:41

MrsTP - that was one of the things I told her!

Part of the reason I was so shocked was that she's a thoughtful, intelligent girl, with considered opinions. I hated to see her mindlessly parroting some bigoted trash. I told her that as well...

MaxPepsi Fri 03-May-13 15:01:28

He sounds sensible then Elf

I like seeing all the flags displayed, but only for legit reasons not just to be a goady twat.

If he's already had it up and not had any problems he should be fine.

SacreBlue Fri 03-May-13 15:03:08

Was wondering whether to click on this thread or not (NI - flags or rather 'flegs' are v touchy subject lol)

I think it's their own choice to 'take a risk' if there are volatile emotions in the area. Given the strife here caused by flegs of the native communities a Polish flag would be a welcome diversion!

Elle i understand totally tho personally I have more issues with my DS forming judgements based on the amount of rubbish left by not Polish, they have been lovely immigrants near us, even after attempts to garner better relations via local support groups for newcomers sad

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:05:00

Good point Max.

I will pack up my worrying for now. Actually, right now, I'm more worried about the fact that it's gone quiet and the DCs are not asleep...what trouble is waiting???

ElleMcFearsome Fri 03-May-13 15:07:21

Generalisations about an entire race/nationality/ethnicity of people based on the actions of some give me the rage under any circumstances. I just don't understand why people think it's ok to do it. The extrapolation of that PoV is ludicrous.

<doesn't mean to derail thread, steps down from soapbox >

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:08:13

I think I was particularly worried because we've had the UKIP car driving round telling us to vote for them and because when we bought the house, the people selling it kept banging on about the amount of Polish people there were on some of the new housing estates in the area and all the problems they are causing. I just felt like there was a negativity there.

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:09:06

I love a little soapbox moment Elle, you carry on!!

ElleMcFearsome Fri 03-May-13 15:10:02

Nah, I'll stop. I can really wind myself up about it and it's pointless grin

I'm going to go back into the lovely sun in my lovely garden to think serene thoughts!

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:11:11

Ohh now there is a plan, I can see the sun shining in, actually that is where the DCs are, so I will join them in the sandpit and think happy thoughts!

I imagine the sort of person to cause problems for your neighbour based on his nationality would be too thick to spot his flag as Polish anyway (off to google Polish flag)

I have to say I get pretty sick of it. Obviously, people don't know I have Polish heritage (no accent, although I look pretty Polish) so their gums flap a lot. I had one friend who went on and on about the 'Poles' and I was saying "I'm part Polish" every time he stopped for breath. He just carried on until I summoned the wrath of MN and said, "don't believe everything you read in the fucking Daily Fail".

Everyone, stop being in the sun and thinking serene thoughts. You've got me all annoyed now.

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:24:36

I had to google it myself, just to check - that would have been super embarrassing

SacreBlue Fri 03-May-13 15:27:54

Lol @ Dino true, there was a whole kick up with a school here flying the other side's* flag which turned out to be the Italian flag duuurrr!

*TM NI

Elle that is what I have tried to impart to my DS, but (and it is a hugely disappointing but) not helped when sections of a community refuse to move away from the stereotype sad I can't count the number of conversations that we have had that have ended with "but c'mon, all the ones we know are like that" it's bloody frustrating trying to give another view of a section of the community when the only ones we know are behaving like arses.

<hopes for new family of said community with responsible ideas on rubbish to move in nearby so I can rebut his argument more effectively>

NotYoMomma Fri 03-May-13 15:28:18

MrsTP

Just out of curiosity and having no polish friends/ relatives.

How do people look polish+ :s.

Genuine question x

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:31:40

I used to live in Southampton where there are large Polish communities. My 2 SIL (one an ex-copper and v. right wing, the other a teacher and v liberal) started off arguing about the influx of Polish immigrants and after a year they were agreeing. One SIL does live in the middle of a new Polish community and not all of them were a delight - I do believe all nationalities have their dicks and fuck wits - but for her to change her opinion so dramatically really worried me. I visited her and couldn't see what her gripe was, there were some men hanging around drinking cans of larger, that happened to be Polish. There were a bunch of drunk English muppets sitting outside the pub. But she was more scared of the Polish ones, for no reason other than their nationality.

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:37:10

confused

SacreBlue Fri 03-May-13 15:49:08

Ahh, see MrsElf that would be easier to rebut, anti social behaviour from students mostly of native population helped me explain to DS how we can all have idiots in whatever section of society/community/nationality

This is why a flag of any nationality outside of UK and Eire or boozing or fighting would pose no problem to explain to DS - in fact it wouldn't even come up.

It's harder when one problem is isolated to one community - which is why I hoped that talking with the organisation specialising in helping that community could help - even if by introducing us to people within that community with a different attitude.

NotYoMomma think Meryl Streep even though she's not Polish. I'm blonde, ski jump nose, flat, wide face and white as milk. My ex-H went to Poland once and said that after years of never having seen someone that looked like me, EVERYONE there did. Weird.

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 15:51:52

That sounds very sensible. A clear channel of communication is needed to help break down prejudice and integrate communities.

SacreBlue Fri 03-May-13 15:54:16

<that may be dis-railing thread, sorry>

Flying a flag I don't think is unreasonable unless in NI when it seems always a problem, and sometimes for good reason

limitedperiodonly Fri 03-May-13 16:01:07

I'm not against national pride and patriotism. I don't particularly like seeing the St George's cross - unless it's St George's day.

I'm puzzled by this statement. Why is the Polish flag welcome but not the English one except for on the saint's day?

Personally I'd be fed up if my neighbour flew any kind of flag outside his house. Not because I'm racist but because they look tacky. I'd feel the same way if he stuck a flashing Santa on his roof at Christmas.

IamMrsElf Fri 03-May-13 17:09:33

That's my feeling, I don't like flags, but if there is a reason for it then I can understand, but do feel they look tacky. It is all personal taste though.

limitedperiodonly Fri 03-May-13 19:55:38

I don't see the reason for flags other than on embassies or at a pinch, cars during international football tournaments.

I’m just expressing a resolutely English trait: a horror of anything that might depress house prices grin

MikeOxard Fri 03-May-13 20:33:58

I fear YAB a twat. Sorry, but I think you know it really.

limitedperiodonly Fri 03-May-13 20:49:17

To be serious, I’d agree with sacreblue, that flying a flag is quite often a very provocative act. It’s something that English people don’t understand and something they find charming in foreigners in the muddled spirit of inclusiveness.

In some cases that is mistaken. There is a very sinister amount of flag-waving in all parts of the world, middle and eastern Europe included, and I don’t want to see it in Britain.

For all I know, your neighbour is lovely and he’s probably quite justifiably annoyed at xenophobes. But I don’t welcome blatant displays of nationalism from wherever they come. He is wrong. For me, flag flying isn’t the British way whether you’re born here or not.

I became politically aware in the late ‘70s when the National Front were draping themselves in the Union Flag and anti-racists were ashamed of it, because it had been hijacked. Now English racists in the BNP and EDL are using the Cross of St George in the same way but there isn’t that same late ‘70s shame and horror towards the symbol.

I don’t know how old you are, but in 1978 I would be scared and angry at an English pub that had a union flag outside and I’m white. Now if I saw a pub with the Cross of St George outside I would just think they were showing anything from football to darts on Sky.

Things have changed in this country and that’s how it should be. You don’t show anti-racism by being nationalist. People who live here should understand that wherever they started out.

I think he might need planning permission for a non national flag.

It looks like there is a policy to change that

limitedperiodonly Fri 03-May-13 21:06:02

We'd need a ginormous flag to drape that populist clown Pickles in, wouldn't we?

JollyPurpleGiant Fri 03-May-13 21:19:36

Where I live, I don't think you would get hassle for flying any flag. A St George's Cross would be most likely to cause issues I suppose, but anything other national flag wouldn't get a second glance.

mum11970 Fri 03-May-13 21:21:47

My dad has a flag pole and the Welsh flag flying. Certainly not unusual to see the flag flying all over Wales.

Isiolo Fri 03-May-13 21:42:14

Ive taken ours down sad we had 2; Union Jack and an African 1. I do feel its a bit risky just now...

SacreBlue Sat 04-May-13 03:18:54

I wish it didn't matter and it was just a happy celebration of whatever but then I do think it's tacky like the flashing Santa in any case

I have no problems with flag flying when it's a celebration - but in NI, it's too often a piss up the wall, marking territory bs that I can't abide.

Seriously doubt your Polish neighbour thinks of it that way tho, I imagine it's more of a reminder of 'home' than anything else

edwardsmum11 Sat 04-May-13 03:35:26

I thought this was a free country... oh right, it is...

happyAvocado Sat 04-May-13 03:45:19

3rd of May in Poland is a national holiday an Anniversary of the First Polish Constitution.
en.poland.gov.pl/National,3rd,of,May,Holiday,10196.html

I guess this is why your neighbour has his flag up for that day.

ComposHat Sat 04-May-13 05:29:17

My favourite comment of the past few weeks, a journalist was doing some sort of vox pop thing in the street and asked a bloke what he thought about migration from central Europe.

To which the said idiot responded:

'My granddad didn't fight the second world war for a bunch of Poles'

Erm...I think you'll find he did.

My pet peeve: people describing Poland as being in Eastern Europe, look at a pissing map! It is in central Europe! Grr.

IamMrsElf Sat 04-May-13 08:15:41

I haven't looked at a map since school, I think it's described that way from the old Cold War days, the Eastern Block and all that.

MammaTJ Sat 04-May-13 08:27:04

I don't like flags, but if there is a reason for it then I can understand, but do feel they look tacky

Don't go telling the Queen!! Orf with your head. grin

Itchywoolyjumper Sat 04-May-13 09:07:53

I think flag flying has connotations in some countries that they might not have in other parts of the world and I have noticed the English are a bit reticent to have national flags out.
I've recently moved back to Scotland and the Saltire is everywhere in a way that I just didn't see with St George's flag in England and nobody seems to think anything of it.

ComposHat Sat 04-May-13 09:19:34

I live in Scotland and that was one of the first things I noticed when I moved up there. I think there are lingering connotations of the far right with the St George's cross, which the St Andrew's cross doesn't. Also as the dominant partner in the UK, the English don't feel the need to assert their nationality and difference in the same way as the Scots do.

Outside of football tournaments (not a problem in Scotland that one!), I tend to think that someone who makes a point of flying a St George's cross at their house is probably a racist or at best a little Englander type.

If I moved back to England I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it because of the connotations of racism and whatnot. (If anyone did it in Scotland, tried it, they are either brave or daft, as it is a racing cert they'll get their head kicked in.)

inabeautifulplace Sat 04-May-13 09:26:56

"My favourite comment of the past few weeks, a journalist was doing some sort of vox pop thing in the street and asked a bloke what he thought about migration from central Europe.

To which the said idiot responded:

'My granddad didn't fight the second world war for a bunch of Poles'

Erm...I think you'll find he did."

Said idiot is absolutely correct. In 1939, despite having a pact with Poland, Britain chose not to fight for a bunch of Poles. We might have declared war, but we didn't do any fighting for them. We still didn't do any fighting for them in 1945, leaving Russia to terrorise them for 50 years.

As I understand about 15% of the population was killed during WW2, a figure around 100 times higher than the losses suffered by Britain.

Said idiot would be correct in saying that a bunch of Poles fought (and died) in the second world war for his granddad.

Misspixietrix Sat 04-May-13 09:50:12

We didn't do any fighting for them? Didn't we declare war if the Nazis didn't withdraw their Troops? confused. I'm asking genuinely as History is sketchy but sure I remember reading that somewhere.

OP sadly I see your point, I'd be a bit weary for my neighbour too. sad

Misspixietrix Sat 04-May-13 09:53:27

Sorry Inabeautifulplace just re-read your post. Apologies flowers.

TheBigJessie Sat 04-May-13 10:04:09

An England flag on a pub means football, but when I see the England flag on anyone's belongings, my hackles rise, and I tread carefully.

It's a massive sad generalisation, but although you might see Wales' flag, Scotland's flag and England's flag phone covers right next to each other in a shop, the type of person who buys each of those is quite different. Not every person with an England summink is a horrible racist xenophobe, but enough are, that I need to consider it as a significant possibility.

ComposHat Sat 04-May-13 10:14:37

Not every person with an England summink is a horrible racist xenophobe, but enough are, that I need to consider it as a significant possibility

I agree, but it is swings and roundabouts, you'd be fine carrying a phone cover with a Scottish flag on it in England, but would be likely to get your head kicked in if you flaunted a cover with an English flag on it.

Scotland has its share of narrowminded blindly nationalistic ,eat heads too!

limitedperiodonly Sat 04-May-13 10:18:43

Xenophobes aren't exclusively English.

I wouldn't go in any pub that displays an Irish flag any time outside a St Patrick's Day promotion and there are parts of Wales and Scotland where as an English person I would not be welcomed with open arms.

limitedperiodonly Sat 04-May-13 10:19:39

ah, x-post

Itchywoolyjumper Sat 04-May-13 11:51:17

I think its quite sad that people can't express their pride in their nation, I always felt a bit sorry for the people in England who were looked down on for having their flag flying.
That said we have a real problem with sectarianism in this part of Scotland and flying the Union Jack and the Tricolour here are symbols of that so its not just an English problem.
It would be lovely if we could all just say "What a lovely flag, how nice it is that you are proud of whatever you are proud of".

IamMrsElf Sat 04-May-13 13:26:36

Up date: the flag is down now. I did not go and speak to him. Don't know why it's gone now.

It is incredible the different connotations of flying a flag and the amount of feeling it generates.

My mum and dad recently emigrated to the USA and boy oh boy do they love to fly a flag!!

Thanks everyone for the interesting debate.

History: when the Nazis marched into Poland we declared war on Germany, so I think we got into the war to fight for the Polish but also for freedom across Europe. If I'm wrong anyone please correct me.

Thanks to Mike who said I was a twat - that was my DB's response too ;)

inabeautifulplace Sat 04-May-13 14:13:44

"History: when the Nazis marched into Poland we declared war on Germany, so I think we got into the war to fight for the Polish but also for freedom across Europe. If I'm wrong anyone please correct me."

We declared war only on Germany (not Russia, who invaded Poland about a week later). We had a written pact with Poland to provide ground intervention within 2 weeks. We ignored this agreement, and sent some bombers to drop bloody LEAFLETS. Seriously, we left the Polish to fend for themselves in 1939. Then we failed to persuade the Americans to help in 1945, so Russia just swallowed it all up retreating across Europe.

None of these decisions were tactically wrong but it's incorrect to claim that we fought for Poland; we fought for ourselves and ignored Polands pleas for assistance. It is much more accurate to say that Poland fought for us, given the numbers who joined the Allied cause. Many of these people were subsequently killed, imprisoned or exiled by the Communists after WW2.

Sorry for the lecture! An earlier fact I gave was wrong; about 5.75 million Poles, or 16% of the population, were killed during WW2. This compares to British losses of 450000, or 1% of the population. That first fact is one of the most horrible things I've read in my lifetime ,especially so since 5.5 million were civilians.

Also, inabeautifulplace I'm sure you know it is entirely possible that Britain would have lost the war without the Polish. In two very important areas Polish contributions were massive in places Britain was very squeezed. One was intelligence. There is every chance the Poles made the salient difference. Also, in the air war, which Britain was extremely close to losing, Polish Bomber Command had brave, experienced pilots including my late Grandfather. The Polish did indeed fight and die for the Allies.

LaGuardia Sat 04-May-13 15:23:40

Nothing wrong with national pride, wherever you are. Yes, OP, you are.

interestonly Sat 04-May-13 15:25:05

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JollyPurpleGiant Sat 04-May-13 15:27:38

Why would the OP being Scottish explain anything interestonly?

interestonly Sat 04-May-13 15:33:57

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lottieandmia Sat 04-May-13 15:35:49

I heard 'UKIP voters' talking this morning on radio 4. They sounded like thick, nasty bigots. Most people I know are nothing like them and hopefully are still in the minority.

lottieandmia Sat 04-May-13 15:37:39

'My worst thought of the day: coalition government in 2015 between Conservatives and UKIP <goes off to weep>'

Mine too!! sad

JollyPurpleGiant Sat 04-May-13 15:44:14

In Scotland we don't vote for ukip. Or the bnp. The stories I've seen on the news about anti immigrant feeling sound totally alien to me as we just don't have the same fear or hatred of minority groups, at least in NE Scotland.

There is more negative feeling about English immigrants though. That is true.

interestonly Sat 04-May-13 15:55:26

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IamMrsElf Sat 04-May-13 16:24:59

interestonly not Scottish. I'm a mixed bag of Welsh and NI heritage (Grand Parents) but only ever lived in England. I'm your typical, overly worried about causing offense, PC, middle class English Elf.

IamMrsElf Sat 04-May-13 16:26:14

It is interesting that Scotland and Wales have a nationalist party but they are very different from the BNP...

JollyPurpleGiant Sat 04-May-13 16:30:14

It seems to me that the Scottish National Party are more pro immigration than any of the Westminster parties.

ComposHat Sun 05-May-13 17:48:45

In Scotland we don't vote for ukip. Or the bnp. The stories I've seen on the news about anti immigrant feeling sound totally alien to me as we just don't have the same fear or hatred of minority groups, at least in NE Scotland.

But in Scotland we have sectarianism that is largely an alien concept in England, the Orange Lodge scumbags (and their followers) are cut from the very same cloth as BNP/UKIP. It is the same sort of small minded bigotry only aimed at our fellow countrymen.

needaholidaynow Sun 05-May-13 18:03:45

Why shouldn't people fly a St George's flag in England?

I love how the US are so patriotic. They don't give a shit.

ComposHat Sun 05-May-13 18:45:10

I love how the US are so patriotic. They don't give a shit

Yes blind, unthinking patriotism has done the USA a power of good hasn't it?

They aren't exactly renown for being a globally aware outwardly looking nation.

WafflyVersatile Sun 05-May-13 18:51:08

It never used to be that Scotland flags were everywhere, well not that I noticed, but maybe I wouldn't have reason to. I've not particularly noticed them recently either. Anyway if there has been a rise it's probably down to the rise in pro independence sentiment.

The wearing of kilts to weddings has risen greatly too. Up until the 90s most men wore suits IME.

Wuldric Sun 05-May-13 18:58:15

I don't like to see a flag of any description*. An England flag, particularly outside a pub, would see me doing a quick swerve to avoid. Nationalism may not be crass on its own, but it can be a home to all sorts of bigotry.

*Unless it's Welsh because the dragon is pretty.

ComposHat Sun 05-May-13 19:13:13

I find England flags quite useful when I'm down south, it lets me know that it is a pub to avoid. A bit like a reverse Les Routiers guide.

limitedperiodonly Sun 05-May-13 19:45:50

They aren't exactly renown for being a globally aware outwardly looking nation

I travel to the US for business. New York and Los Angeles, mainly. Every time I go I am stunned that a country would choose the most pigheaded simpletons of their citizens to represent them at their ports of entry.

TrinityRhino Sun 05-May-13 19:48:05

<wanders onto thread>

<sniggers about neighbour putting up the scottish flag which then prompted us and the neighbours the other side of him to be childish>

ComposHat Mon 06-May-13 01:50:51

I travel to the US for business. New York and Los Angeles, mainly. Every time I go I am stunned that a country would choose the most pigheaded simpletons of their citizens to represent them at their ports of entry.

Exactly this.

I have always found them to be the most humourless, dimwitted and intransigent idiots I have ever met. I usually get so nervous that I start babbling shite and once accidentally gave one of them a saucy wink and a clicking noise out of sheer fear and embarrassment.

I'm amazed I didn't get tazered for trying to proposition a boarder guard or being gay or something.

Continuing the derail.....

I had the temerity to smile at a ludicrous situation at uS border control and was threatened with a $500 fine. On my entry card I had marked no fruit, begs etc.. While beside me my DS who had declared hunger in the queue was munching on an apple. Now you might think fair enough I should have declared the apple. However we were still in Canada! The fruit would be consumed and binned before getting into the US. I pointed it out and said the Canadians didn't say anything. But as he said, they're "Canadians", it doesn't matter what they say.

I fear the trouble I'll get myself into I'd we actually end up moving to the US with work. Fingers crossed I have a black mark for the apple incident and wont be granted a work permit.

I had a go at one once. I was en route from Fiji to Canada and had the temerity to have to fly via the US. They didn't have a transit system, oh no. You had to get your bags, clear customs and immigration, only to do it again in order to get into Canada. After hours, and queues and questions and forms for no reason, I was asked by one why I wanted to enter the States. I replied, "I don't want to enter the States, I want to enter Canada, I have to go through this to get that.". Amazingly I wasn't arrested.

Weirdly, I also met the nicest Americans that day too. After immigration shite, I went to buy Stupid White Men in the bookshop as a treat. There was an African American woman at the counter. I said "have you got Stupid White Men?". She laughed and pointed behind her at the two white, male employees. They grinned and waved. They had obviously been waiting to be asked. I think I made their day.

IamMrsElf Mon 06-May-13 07:40:21

As my Mum & Dad live in the States we have dealt with immigration morons a fair bit and find them to be intimidating and stupid in equal measure. What worries me is when you see them with guns!!

We saw quite a few news stories whilst we were out there at Christmas, where the police had shot or tazered citizens or animals, for ridiculous reasons and their response was always "what else could we do?" hmm

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