Internet users and politicians jumped at the opportunity to criticise Google’s way of reminding Poles of important events.
Krystyna Pawłowicz, a ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party member of Poland’s lower house of parliament, posted the following on Facebook:
“Why did Google, on Poland’s most important Independence Day, greet us with a white-and-red hunched, old stork with jagged, bloodied feathers, and not the image with a proud white eagle, a symbol of struggle and independence?”
“I protest [capitalised] against these deceitful and false teachings,” Pawłowicz continued.
Pawłowicz's sentiments were echoed in comments made by other Internet users:
“Since when is the stork a symbol of an independent Poland,” was tweeted Wednesday morning by user @dareckin.
“Why does Google show a stork instead of an eagle,” @nuttygirlxd tweeted in the afternoon.
“And that is how Google landed next to the atheist, and kebab as enemies of Polish patriotism,” @luzak666 tweeted.
Google explained its decision with the following:
“Every year, when winter is approaching in the southern hemisphere, the storks fly north. Their journey is spectacular. They fly thousands of kilometres over turbulent seas, chasing a sunny summer. One fourth of them end their flight in a specific place - Poland.
"Poland, whose independence we commemorate every year in November, is home to 40,000 pairs of storks. That is more than anywhere in the world. Today we celebrate diversity, freedom and natural riches of Poland.”
Poland’s national bird is the white eagle. According to one legend, Poland’s founder, Lech, settled where he saw a white eagle's nest and placed the eagle on his emblem. (ua/aba/rk)