Players who wave the Russian flag

I do a lot of online commerce (Fiverr / Upwork) and they have BLOCKED their Russian and Belarusian freelancers from their platform. Let’s chew on this for a second … they are telling these freelancers they can’t make a LIVING / PAY THEIR BILLS if they are from Russia.

Much lower on the Maslow hierarchy scale (higher technically) is playing a game (like chess or go). A person REALLY can go without that !

So … players from Russia can play here. I get it that you don’t want to BLOCK these people … I see the logic of that … but letting them wave their flag?

A player on this site a player can select a Russian flag (and other non-country flags too). Why not the gay rainbow flag? The confederate flag? BLM flag?

My vote is to just remove that as a choice (and keep other polarizing flags off the menu too) until the war is over.

I’m curious what other people feel about this. PLEASE comment!

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If it came down to voting, I’d likely vote to block the Russian flag too, but recently someone here was criticizing that players can choose to wave the flag of Tibet and I’d be against blocking that. So just blocking all “polarizing” flags doesn’t seem appropriate to me. Which leaves the question of how to decide which flags to allow and which to block.



Do you even play on the site? Plenty of people have that one.


which one


I see the flags as a means of identification of a player’s country (keeping in mind that people may lie), which I find pleasantly interesting. I do not see it as a “flag-waving” political statement, though of course it could be intended that way. However, I would rather judge someone based on their words and actions, not prejudicially based on their country.

If we go down this road, what is next? Banning the Russian chat channel?


lol no


Absolutely against. Russian go players should be allowed to “wave their flag” all they like, IMO. That does not automatically imply that they are supporting the current war.


All interesting responses!

Just curious … are you guys against McDonalds (and a bunch of other companies) pulling out of Russia? Innocent Russian kids who are not political cannot now get a Big Mac~

There are a lot of sanctions that are effecting everyday Russians when they go to the grocery store. These citizens may not support the war or might even be political. They are just people who eat and now pay more for their groceries. Against that too?

Logic dictates that if it’s wrong to not let a Russian citizen wave their flag here on OGS … then it’s REALLY wrong to deny them work (check Upwork and FIverr), or raise their prices on food …no?

If not … please show me my faulty logic.

Having companies operate in another country, including things like Upwork or Fiverr, basically results in money flowing into that other country directly through taxes and indirectly through its people. So, McDonald’s operating in Russia would basically be an American company paying tax to the Russian government (and considering the size of McDonald’s it wouldn’t be an insignificant amount either, estimates being around $275 million in revenue before the war started). So, operating a business in Russia directly forms financial support for the Russian army.

Another thing I’d like to note, is that the goal of the sanctions against Russia are not to lead the Russian population into poverty. It is to force the Russian government to retreat from Ukraine and to avoid funding the Russian military. The fact that this lowers the living standard for innocent Russian civilians is an unfortunate by-effect, but if we’d compare the living standard in Russia to that of the people currently living in Ukraine or the refugees that fled their home country, you could make an argument that it’s justified.

In your argument, you seem to be stating that if the sanctions have the effect of damaging the living standard on the important end of the Maslow hierarchy, then we should be damaging the living standard on the unimportant end as well. It seems like a weird argument, fixated on denying Russian citizens comfort without any real benefit.


Also, as a logician I feel obliged to point out the misuse of the term “logic”. Logic does not dictate that if it’s wrong to let people do A, then it’s really wrong to let people not do B, where A and B are logically unrelated. What would be a logical argument, would be “We allow people to wave the Russian flag, (allowing people) to wave the Russian flag is morally wrong, therefore we are being morally wrong”, where the logical part is that if we assume all assumptions are correct, then the conclusion is correct. Logic doesn’t tell anything about the validity of the assumptions, however, so people may disagree with your conclusion if they disagree with your assumptions (in this case, I believe some of the respondents here don’t believe it to be morally wrong to wave the Russian flag).

I believe that is would therefore be more fitting if you had stated “Morality dictates that (…)”. Or to be completely correct “My morality dictates that (…)”, since this is a rather subjective thing, of course.

There’s also the distinction between finding the act of something objectionable and finding the allowance of said act objectionable. You can be against something while simultaneously believing that people should be allowed to voice their opinion in favour of it (like, not liking pineapple on pizza yourself, but still believing people should be allowed to spread the opinion that it’s actually good).


I’m from Russia and don’t feel it is correct to hide the flag. Some players don’t want to talk, start games, make friends etc. with russians. They have the right to know where I’m from.


OGS players with a Russian flag don’t “wave” it, they just show which country they are from. Russian flags are banned from international sports competitions because Russian athletes are not allowed to represent their country, but on OGS, Russian players are not playing as a representative of their country.


I’m also against. I see the Russian flag simply as an indicator of someone’s location and perhaps someone’s native language. Not as an indicator of someone’s stance on Putin’s war. And even if a player with a Russian flag (or any other flag) supports Putin’s war, they are entitled to have their opinion and still play go on OGS.

OGS does have rules on players’ behaviour. For example, abusive language and racism are not allowed here (this is not an exhaustive list).

As long as people adhere to those rules, they can play on the main site and participate in forum talks.

As for which flags should or should not be in the flag list: The Russian flag is just the official flag of Russia. In my opinion, it would be strange to exclude it.

There are also flags in the list that are not an official country flag. The rainbow flag is a positive international symbol for inclusivity and against discrimination, so I am in favour of including it.

I think the BLM flag and confederate flag are merely symbols for political groups inside the US, with little use outside the context of national politics of the US. It may be similar to the upside down Dutch flag used by some people in the Netherlands to express their support for Dutch farmers in their conflict with our government on environmental issues. I would not be in favour of including that flag in OGS flag list, because it’s mostly irrelevant outside the context of Dutch politics.


Nice response! You actually had to make me think about my argument (which is good, so I thank you for that).

My argument is this (in two parts)

  1. An economic punishment to citizens is more punitive than denying someone the ability to select a specific flag in a game.
  2. The purpose of sanctions is three-fold:
    a. To deny the punished state revenue to conduct their unwanted behavior
    b. To potentially make the citizens upset enough (for financial reasons) to take action against a current regime.
    c. To potentially make the citizens upset enough (through shaming) to take action against a current regime.

This last point (2 c), is the purpose of my post here: Shaming. My personal opinion is that all tools should be utilized to modify the Russian Government’s behavior, including motivating their citizens (who overwhelmingly support him) to understand that the majority of the world (and overwhelmingly the West) disapprove of their government’s behavior.

A flag represents a government. When former African colonies broke away from their former rulers, they created different flags. The boarders didn’t change, the people were the same, but the ruling body changed (hence a different flag). When the American flag is burned at a rally, they are not expressing anger towards the US topography (the land), or the citizens (they’re not mad at Britney in Miami), it’s the US Government they’re angry at.

OGS is NOT neutral on this war. They have the Ukrainian colored ball in the corner of the screen. OGS is making (and I support this) a political statement about this war. The purpose of that colored ball is not about the country (it wasn’t there before the invasion), it is an ANTI-RUSSIAN statement about the war. Didn’t OGS also offer some sort of refund to all Ukrainian citizens as well (I don’t remember)? The “owners” of OGS (a game site) are taking a political stance on the war.

For people who argue that a game site should not be political, I invite them to make that argument (it’s rational in my opinion). I don’t agree with it, but it makes sense. But OGS DID make a decision to make an outwardly political statement … and why? Because OGS concluded that the actions of the Russian Government (which is represented by the Russian Flag) were repulsive. So repulsive that a game site which normally doesn’t take political stances decided it couldn’t be silent on this issue.

All I’m arguing is for them to continue in this direction (ever so slightly) to remove the Russian (and Belarusian) flag as a choice.

Thanks for the lively discussion and the consideration, and no matter what happens in this regard, I think we all love this site and all the great (uncompensated) work the moderators and creators do so we can play the best game in the world~


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For the record: A flag represents a country. The government is usually made up from the parties that won the elections and those tend to have their own flags. In a few months we might have elections and a different government. I do not expect my country to change its flag. :stuck_out_tongue:

At this moment the Eurobasket is on. Every squad has its national flag and if you ask every athlete they will tell you that they represent their country. Not the government.

Just because some protesters do not understand what the symbol they are burning actually represents, that cannot be used as an argument of fact.

So such small misunderstandings about what a flag represents, can lead to larger ones like this one.


Lots of people hate a government but still wave the flag, realizing that a government can be a transient aberration. Flag burning represents a much more profound hatred, typically one or more of the following: hatred of the country’s history, culture, laws, and people. In short, hatred of the country’s existence.


This is a nice summary of the rationale behind a sanction and I agree until the point that you state that the flag represents a government, there I agree with @JethOrensin and that is why I am against removing Russian flags or Russian players. Many Russian citizens may not support the war or the government and still want to be seen as Russian citizens without having to make a statement about it and I fully respect that.

To blur things a little bit up, while the flag itself does not represent endorsement to the war, unconventional nationalism in this context I think does and this is a line hard to make.

For the record, by the time that the war started, I started a correspondence ladder game with a Russian and I was fine with that. But at a certain point he changed his profile picture to a trembling russian flag and put in his profile a “Z flag”. This was the time that we had the news from Bucha and that was too much for me, I resigned the game. I reported him without knowing if the Z flag could be considered some site violation, but my report was refused by the moderation and he still keeps it in his profile by today. I don’t fully agree, but I respect the OGS team for avoiding this rabbit hole.


A different viewpoint:

What if a Russian go player secretly wants to remove their Russian flag in protest, but are afraid to do it because they don’t want their government to know that they are protesting? Remember that it’s not without consequences for a Russian citizen to voice an opinion against their government.

Removing the Russian flags from the list of available flags would give this player a way out.

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I would think changing the flag would be a small enough gesture which doesn’t raise suspicions for average Russian players, but I can not be sure about that. On the other hand I can imagine that popular Russian players might get into trouble.

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100% against removing the Russian flag. It’s a country with plenty of beautiful citizens living there who call themselves Russians. If you’re going to snap back asking if I’m for or against allowing these “beautiful citizens” to eat their McNuggets, I have no opinion on that.

Though I would like to add I wish I could add multiple flags because I have dual citizenship with the U.S. Canada and am ethnically Korean.