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Germany, Saturn to withdraw flag-burning ad

Published:Wednesday | February 27, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has yesterday issued a statement announcing that Germany, along with German appliance company Saturn, has decided to withdraw the controversial advertisement by Saturn, which includes images of the improper handling of the Jamaican flag.

According to the release, the decision was made following the quiet diplomacy between the ministry and Saturn, "out of respect for the feelings of the Jamaican people".

The release also revealed that Saturn, in a letter to Joy Wheeler, ambassador of Jamaica at Berlin, there was no intention of disrespecting the Jamaican people.

"Saturn indicated that at no time was it the company's intention to offend the national sentiment of the Jamaican people," the letter said.

"We must, nevertheless, take note of the fact that the humorous approach we selected has led to some misunder-standings in Jamaica and among Jamaicans living in Germany. We sincerely regret this and would like to apologise if we have angered or offended anyone with our ad."

According to the ministry, the letter further stated that the ad was meant to be "tongue-in-cheek" and was not intended to "offend the sensibilities of a segment of the population or nation or diminish the significance of the Jamaican flag".

In the advertisement, the Jamaican flag is inadvertently set on fire and taken outside a coffee shop where some men stomped on it trying to out the fire.