First of I should mention that I like Russia, have been there and I just like the people, the culture, the architecture. Pretty much every friend/coworker/family members knows and accepts that.
But lately I have gathered a lot of strange stares and questions that I feel uncomfortable or forced to answer.
I live in Germany and I a friend of mine (I know him since 1st grade, he's Russian) gifted me some Russian souvenirs for Christmas. One of those things is a small velcro patch with the Russian flag (tricolor one) on it that I put on my backpack. It's the only flag on my backpack.
Everything was fine up until the attack on Skripal and his daughter. So ever since that happened whenever I walk through town with my backpack some people stare at me (especially on the bus/train) and some even ask me strange questions like
Why do you even have a Russian flag on your backpack? (In a tone that makes it sound like it's illegal to have that)
Aren't you ashamed you have a flag of the country ruled by a dictator and killer? (Not even joking, even though questions like that are rare, it sometimes happens)
I just really don't feel like I need to answer their rude questions. So I usually just ignore them. I'd like to avoid all discussions about Russian politics.
So my question is how can I avoid or - if necessary - answer those super weird encounters/questions besides to not have the flag on my backpack because I don't feel like I should be ashamed for my opinion?