This is wonderful: a new initiative from Jane Stevenson to give our friends from EU27 countries a yellow rose for friendship and support.
Please listen to Jane and her friend Em discussing the idea:
(also on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3ainil9a6w )
Jane: “What the yellow rose message is.
Yellow roses are erm. You know different flowers can mean different things.
My understanding is that the yellow rose are friendship. OK.
So, erm that’s why I am giving them to you.”
Em: “Thank you. You gave the whole lot?”
Jane: “You get all of those.
So, erm yes. So it means that I don’t think you are a queue jumper. I know you are here legally. I am glad you are here. I am really glad you are here.”
Em: “Thank you”
Jane: “And that’s what these yellow roses represent.
So, other British born people (even although I hate having to distinguish) other British born people if you know someone who is an EU27 person you could show them some message or act of friendship. It does not have to involve yellow roses.
So, for example, my dentist is an EU27 person and she is the best dentist I have ever had. And I don’t get frightened anymore to go to the dentist. On the day of the “queue jumping” speech when I found out about that I wondered how people that I knew who came from EU27 I wondered how they would be feeling. And I thought: well I wonder how she is feeling? Maybe she is thinking she does not to be here any more. So, I felt embarrassed as I don’t know her as a friend but I just got a little note card and put something really simple in it. I just said: I hope. I just want to let you know that I don’t agree with what Theresa May has said today and I am really glad you are here and I really appreciate you as my dentist. That is all I said. Put it i the post and that was how I thought wouldn’t it be good if lots of people did this? And then I thought the yellow rose is a symbol. And so that is what I am saying to people. If you are like me and you feel frustrated that the general message out there is one of hostility towards the EU27 and you are not buying into that. You want to express friendship.
Then the yellow rose message is to do that to the individual person in any way so you could do a note, an email, a postit note, roses – yes if that’s your thing. Erm, a cup of coffee, a pint down the pub. It does not matter what it is. Just some action of friendship. And then without making a person feeling like they are having to stand up in assembly you know like – this is my EU27 friend – without obviously doing that post something about it on social media so that a different narrative is going out there. You know: a narrative of friendship because that is my narrative as a British born person and I know that is the narrative of millions of other British born people and it’s not getting out there. So it is based within the politics but the message is one of friendship and it is a different narrative and it does not matter which way you voted by the way. If you want to express friendship towards someone who is going through this because of brexit then please express that friendship in any way that is appropriate to you and then let the world know that you have done that. ”
Em: “I think it is very important and I am very touched that this idea is coming out especially that I think many people do not actually realize what is going on. What we are going through. The situation of Limbo that we are in and have been for close on 8 or 900 days now. People count days. A campaign like that will touch the hearts and will make EU citizens feel better. People are leaving. It is all over. The numbers have dropped on people coming in but also people are leaving because for the last two years the rhetoric has changed. It is not just like terrible media any more it is Theresa May and it is not acceptable and we cannot live in a country where we feel this way. Because you know just: those tiny little words – they hurt and they stay there. They are seeds that stay in people’s minds.”
Jane: “And they give people permission to express hate. Well this <points to yellow roses> gives people permission to express friendship and express love. And you can do it in small ways. I think one of the most powerful ways is to ask someone: what have you gone through since brexit?”
Em: “It is so un-British”
Jane: “It is very un-British. I was embarrassed. I do not think I fit into boxes too easily. I realized that I got embarrassed. So yes, so get over the embarrassment, express your friendship and when you do it. Put it on social media under the hashtag #YellowRose ”
Em: “Say it again”
Jane: “(Hashtag) #YellowRose all one word.
Em: “Thank you”
Jane: “Bye” <waves>
Jane reading a testimony by MP from Spain from the book: “In Limbo: Brexit testimonies from EU citizens in the UK” outside Spanish Embassy.
Outside Italian embassy:
St Ives, Cornwall:
Peace and Love at Christmas
Thank you Jane. <3
[update: 23rd December 2018]
Here are two #YellowRose #InLimbo overlay images you can add to your social media profile photo to show your support:
a) Image is at bottom left:
b) Image is at bottom right: