Belgians pay fines and taxes for showing their national flag
The Belgian national soccer team started their participation in the World Cup in Russia with two consecutive wins, one against Panama and one against Tunisia. To support their national team, many Belgians have put flags on their cars, windows, balconies, and clothes. However, the Belgian government does not seem happy with this wave of patriotism.
The Belgian police publicly announced that Belgians who put flags on their wing mirrors will be subject to a fine amounting to 58 euro. Fines are not the only way for preventing the Belgian supporters of the national team from raising the national flag. Flanders (one of the three Belgian regions) imposes a tax on billboards and, according to tax experts, Belgian flags displaying advertisements may be considered billboards. It is worth mentioning that many sellers of beer in Belgium give free national flags to their customers. Such flags usually display beer trademarks.
Instead of applauding the supporters of the Red Devils (the nickname of the Belgian national team) for publicly displaying the national flag and contributing to the unification of the highly divided country, the Belgian government attempts to tax innocent soccer supporters for demonstrating their national pride. The tax on Belgian flags is not the only weird tax in the Belgian tax arsenal. The Flemish city Aarschot imposed a tax on the transportation of dead bodies with the aim to empty the pockets of the heirs of deceased people before the regional Flemish government put their nose in the same pockets and charge an inheritance tax of up to 65%.