Bono promises to wave EU flag on stage and says he's proud of how Europe 'rallied behind Ireland' over Brexit
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Bono promises to wave EU flag on stage and says he's proud of how Europe 'rallied behind Ireland' over Brexit

BONO has promised to "wave a big, bright, blue EU flag" on stage when U2 kick off their European tour in Berlin this Friday, in a show of support for Europe over the Brexit negotiations.

The Irish frontman said he felt proud of how European countries had "rallied behind Ireland" particularly over the Irish border issue.

Writing in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, the 58-year-old - no stranger to flag-waving - said it was the job of a rockstar to be "provocative" and claimed patriotism had been "stolen from us by nationalists and extremists".

He admitted that the EU "is a hard sell in Europe these days" but said he still believes the bloc will "shape our future".

In the course of the article, Bono quotes John Hume and Winston Churchill and says he loves Europe its differences, namely "our dialects, our traditions, our peculiarities".

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He adds: "Well, U2 is kicking off its tour in Berlin this week, and we’ve just had one of our more provocative ideas: during the show we’re going to wave a big, bright, blue EU flag.

"I’m guessing that even to a rock audience, waving an EU flag these days is either an annoyance, a bore, a kitsch reference to the Eurovision Song Contest but to some of us it has become a radical act.

"Europe, which for a long time triggered a yawn, today sparks a kitchen-table screaming match. Europe is the theatre of powerful, emotional, clashing forces that will shape our future".

He continues: "We’re seeing a spectacular loss of faith in that idea. Fueled by the unevenness of globalisation, and a failure to manage the migration crisis, nationalists say diversity is a danger.

"Seek refuge, they tell us, in sameness; drive out the different. Their vision for the future looks to me a lot like the past: identity politics, grievance, violence".

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The Dubliner also makes a specific reference to Ireland, saying that as a nation it "has a special emotional connection to Europe".

"Maybe it’s because Ireland is a tiny rock in a big sea, eager to be part of something larger than ourselves (for most things are larger than ourselves)," he says.

"Maybe it’s because we used to feel closer to Europe than we did to some of the people on our island".

Bono also expressed his pride that other European countries "have allied behind Ireland on the border issue" during the Brexit negotiations in Brussels.

"The word patriotism has been stolen from us by nationalists and extremists who demand uniformity. But real patriots seek unity above homogeneity," he adds.

"Reaffirming that is, to me, the real European project."