TV director and producer Nat Saunders played on the recent focus on statue protectionism, writing: “You know who else hates flags? Statues. Absolutely loathe flags, statues do. So what’s your stance NOW?”
And BBC News presenter – and proud Welshman – Huw Edwards posted a picture of himself standing defiantly in front of his country’s red dragon, with the caption: “Flags are now mandatory — very pleased with my new backdrop for BBC News at 10.”
Huw Edwards proudly posed in front of the Welsh national flag
He was later instructed, presumably by his bosses on the “impartiality” rampage, to remove the tweet.
Instead, he cheekily shared an image of a different flag which he claims is “one of his favourites”.
Gutted. My pro-flag 🏴 tweet has been cut down in its prime. By order. But it will be back tomorrow 🏉 — by pop… https://t.co/eadJY3V0K0
The flag row erupted after Jenrick, the housing secretary, was mocked for the size of his Union Jack by BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt during Thursday morning’s broadcast.
A number of commentators and social media users were outraged by Stayt’s sarcastic turn, with talkRadio host Mark Dolan asking: “Is patriotism a crime now? Why does the BBC have such a problem with Britain?"
Another Tory MP, Daniel Kawczynski, commented: “Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt making fun of Government Minister for proudly displaying British flag & Portrait of our Queen in his office so clearly demonstrates we really do need to abolish Licence fee.”
Naga Munchetty & Charlie Stayt making fun of Government Minister for proudly displaying British flag & Portrait of… https://t.co/sDFL0illjA
— Daniel Kawczynski (@Daniel Kawczynski)
Meanwhile, scores of other Twitter users revelled in the playful quip, praising Stayt for the light-hearted joke.
However, co-host Naga Munchetty, who clearly also thought it was all just a bit of fun at first, later apologised.
“I ‘liked’ tweets today that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning. I have since removed these ‘likes’,” she wrote on Friday morning.
“This do not represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken.”
I 'liked' tweets today that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a governmen… https://t.co/LS7R5fEWLN