Flag discourse has been flying high in recent days, with the government now announcing that the union jack to be flown on all UK government buildings at all times.
The move comes from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport department with culture secretary Oliver Dowden stating that the flag is “a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us.” Government buildings in Northern Ireland are covered by separate laws.
Previously, flags were only required to be flow on special occasions such as the Queen’s birthday but now they will be flown 24/7. Local councils will also be encouraged to fly the flag as well as the NHS flag. However, planning permission will be needed to fly the EU flag.
Of course, this comes after BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt mocked Tory minister Robert Jenrick for the size of the flag that the MP had in his office.
I’m calling on all local councils to fly the Union Flag with pride on their buildings every day. And we’re cutting… https://t.co/WQ4SGChxO9— Robert Jenrick (@Robert Jenrick) 1616614962
There are, of course, some people who really, really care about the Union Jack and will welcome this news. Others are just tired of seeing news of the flag whilst there are a few other things going on.
- TikTok user’s bikini pic accidentally features an X-rated optical illusion
- White headmaster forces black student to apologise the ‘African way’
- Uber passenger who coughed on driver faces up to 16 years in jail
- People are hijacking the Joe Biden fall hashtag to make an important point
In the 12 years I worked with Johnson at the Telegraph, did he ever once demand to have a Union Jack anywhere near… https://t.co/laLFaERQva— Tim Walker (@Tim Walker) 1616656095
will future historians ask why ministers were changing the rules governing flags on ministry buildings in the middl… https://t.co/5bWM2JuHnU— Jim Pickard (@Jim Pickard) 1616603400
Have I missed something here? Why is the news focusing on how many union jack flags are on show during interviews,… https://t.co/5pglcfEYF4— Shakiba Moghadam | شکیبا (@Shakiba Moghadam | شکیبا) 1616523053
I’ve lived in a Britain relaxed about its patriotism for 70 years. Now the government wants an Union Jack flown on… https://t.co/0UhTf3msuG— Will Hutton (@Will Hutton) 1616631564
I suspect that forcing Wales to fly the Union Flag, a flag that ignores Wales as a nation, is not going down too well.— Peter Sturdgess (@Peter Sturdgess) 1616654437
I now have the desire to buy a large Scotland flag to hang on my house. I’ve never felt the need before but getting… https://t.co/G0uFe030Uf— Emma (@Emma) 1616654487
This is the flag of my country ! No other flag should be flying in Scotland ! #IndyForScotland https://t.co/x6QwM6CpIT— KnightAngel🏴#PrisonerOnPlagueIsland (@KnightAngel🏴#PrisonerOnPlagueIsland) 1616625832
Others pointed out the negative cultural and historical significance of the flag.
I know large numbers of Black & Asian Britons whose experience of a Union Jack was that it was on clothing or tatto… https://t.co/iwxe70aCQs— nazir afzal (@nazir afzal) 1616657038
I don't think flag shaggers realise how much their usage of the Union Flag for racist purposes has turned millions off its symbology— Jack Duncan 🔻🏳️🌈 (@Jack Duncan 🔻🏳️🌈) 1616617236
We’ve done it. For years inventors have tried to create a time machine. Now Britain has done it: riots on the stree… https://t.co/5mk3W46XBs— Omid Djalili (@Omid Djalili) 1616409419
Former leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood called it ‘bloody nationalism.’
Bloody nationalism! https://t.co/XLNhqoNy7A— Leanne Wood 💚💛 (@Leanne Wood 💚💛) 1616610338
This video of the German chancellor refusing to wave the German flag because of the potential connotations has gotten a lot of traction in the past few days.
Let’s be more like Angela Merkel She doesn’t want the flag waved around for political games, neither do we.... Ge… https://t.co/YL8rUUTJ2V— kerry ✊💙 (@kerry ✊💙) 1616655471
Of course, there were one or two jokes.
Union Flag to be flown on all UK government buildings every day, leading to many Brits questioning which member of… https://t.co/cuD1iJRTMh— Ministry of Satire (@Ministry of Satire) 1616657411
what things should *by law* have a Union flag on? I'll go first - council buildings - banknotes - all BBC shows -… https://t.co/9hiNsjmmEv— Henry Mance (@Henry Mance) 1616607700
Former Brexit Party MEP Christina Jordan mocked Charlie Stayt and his co-host Naga Munchetty off the back of the news.
Great news! What a wonderful sight it will be to see our flag flying on UK Govt buildings everyday. Huge thanks to… https://t.co/EqWOzjPB3f— Christina Jordan (@Christina Jordan) 1616616157
We’re in a pandemic, a recession, pushing forward with a massive vaccination drive, and there are other - less world-changing facets of current affairs - that really do just seem a bit more important than a flag.
But from having it fly on Government buildings, whether devolved nations will be involved with its adornment, and how it can be used within ‘culture war’ arguments, discussion on the Union Jack is surely taking up a lot of stage time.
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