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Flag Row Breaks Out In Moldova

Romania's (left) and Moldova's prime ministers meeting in early March. Moldova's Communists say the countries' flags are too similar.
Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat has accused local officials from the opposition Communist party of illegally undermining the country's flag, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Filat was speaking to journalists after Communist-dominated local councils in the cities of Balti and Cahul voted earlier in the day to raise a bicolor flag next to the official tricolor banner on their town halls.

The Communists have used the red and blue flag as their symbol during weeks of protests surrounding recent presidential elections.

After nearly three years of political deadlock, pro-Western Nicolae Timofti was elected Moldova's president in a March 16 parliamentary vote that the Communists boycotted.

The Communists say the official blue, yellow, and red national flag too closely resembles that of neighboring Romania.

They claim their flag is that of Stefan the Great, a medieval Moldovan king.