Sign wars: Taiwan flag back at Frankfurt Airport

Taiwan's incredibly disappearing flag resurfaces at Frankfurt Airport

"Taiwan" and Taiwan flag return to signboard.

"Taiwan" and Taiwan flag return to signboard. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Following concerns that Germany was bowing to pressure from Beijing by removing the Taiwan flag from it's EasyPass signboard at Frankfurt Airport on Monday (Feb. 11), photos have surfaced showing that the Taiwan flag had magically reappeared by Friday (Feb. 15).

Last Monday (Feb. 11), news broke that the word "Taiwan" and the icon for the Taiwan flag had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the EasyPass signboard at Frankfurt Airport, causing many Taiwanese to suspect China had yet again succeeded in bullying a country into removing references to the country and stoked fears that Taiwanese would no longer be eligible for automatic immigration clearance at the airport. However, by Friday, CNA cited netizens has reporting that Taiwan's flag had miraculously reappeared at the Frankfurt Airport.

In response to Taiwanese concerns after the flag temporarily disappeared, the German government said that because the test phase of the program had ended, the flags being displayed on the signboard were being changed. However, it emphasized that Taiwanese will continue to enjoy its automatic border control treatment.

Photo posted on social media showing the Taiwan flag suddenly missing.

According to CNA, the massive backlash by German citizens against the Frankfurt Airport following extensive media coverage of the disappearance of the Taiwan flag, may have convinced authorities to restore the flag. The German government has yet to provide an official explanation for the restoration of the Taiwanese flag.

Photos first surfaced on social media of the Taiwan flag on the signboards in December last year, as Taiwanese travelers have qualified for Germany's EasyPass system in the Frankfurt and Munich airports since last summer. In response to the original post on Facebook, many Taiwanese netizens geared up for a trip to Germany over the Lunar New Year holiday to reward the country for its bold stance on Taiwan's sovereignty and the increased ease of travel.

Photo which surfaced on Friday showing the Taiwan flag back in place. (CNA image)

Another photo which surfaced on Friday showing the Taiwan flag back in place. (CNA image)

Sign as it originally appeared in December last year. (Photo from Facebook group 爆廢公社).