Two charitable organizations, Blue/Yellow, and Strong Together, have joined hands with the public broadcaster LRT to run a campaign, Raise the Flag for Ukraine in NATO!, so as to capture the attention of global leaders and the media, shedding light on the unwavering support of the Lithuanian populace for Ukraine and its struggle. The aim of the campaign is to show the strong support of the Lithuanian people for Ukraine’s aspiration to become the 33rd NATO member state.
‘Our concept consists of two parts’, explained Edmundas Jakilaitis, the driving force behind the organization known as Strong Together. ‘Firstly, a Kiev-Vilnius running marathon from the heart of Ukraine’s capital on 25 June. Renowned athletes, musicians, and prominent public figures from both Ukraine and Lithuania will take turns carrying the Ukrainian battle flag, symbolizing the journey of solidarity and determination to Vilnius. A total of 33 dedicated runners will cover approximately 1500 km over a span of 16 days. This exceptional endeavour serves as a powerful testament, carrying a symbolic message that resonates deeply: Ukraine’s rightful place is within the NATO alliance.’
Photo credit: Stiprūs kartu
On 24 June, a battle bullet-scarred flag was handed over to the organisers on the battlefield near Bakhmut by Stepan Barna, former Rada member, Governor of Ternopil and now commander of the 10th assault brigade Edelweiss.
The ceremony of the welcoming of the Battle Flag and its hoisting will take centre stage on 11 July at Lukiškės Square in Vilnius.
The second part of the campaign aims to flood the streets of Vilnius and Lithuania to that matter with a sea of Ukrainian flags.
‘We invite everyone to raise the Ukrainian bicolour in their homes, offices, windows, balconies, and cars starting from July 7th. Let them fly until at least the 13th, allowing everyone to witness our unwavering support. We will raise them again when Ukraine emerges victorious for the good of us all,’ said Jonas Ohman, the founder of Blue/Yellow.
The campaign is expected to rally private businesses and public institutions. The expectation is to have at least 33 000 Ukrainian flags flying in Vilnius alone.