Welsh parliament bemoans ‘rising R rate’ of Union flags and begs for ‘flagless week’

<p>Welsh and Union flags</p>

Welsh and Union flags

AFP via Getty Images

There’s been another flag-fan moment, and this time it’s in Wales.

The Presiding Officer of the Welsh Senedd – that’s the equivalent of the Speaker of the House of Commons – was forced to intervene after two Tory members showed flags in the backgrounds of their Zoom calls.

Janet Finch-Saunders and Laura Anne Jones had draped the Union flag behind them as they pontificated about the issues of the day and Presiding Officer Elin Jones had had quite enough. And so she issued her plea:

“It looks as if the R rate on flags is greater than 1 at the moment,” she said.

“Therefore, from next week, no more flags. Otherwise, I’ll be tempted to fly the flag of the Independent Tropical Republic of Ceredigion behind me here. So, we move on to a flagless week next week please.”

It comes after a brilliant week for patriotism in which we witnessed both the government encouraging school children to sing about how amazing Great Britain is and a Tory MP calling for every household in Britain to get a photo of the Queen.

Incredibly, neither of these stories are satire and neither is this one, in which Jones despaired at her colleagues for their decorations. In doing so, alas, Jones has appeared to evoke the wrath of the flag loving community.

A Welsh Conservative spokesperson told the BBC: “This is a bizarre intervention from the presiding officer.

“There should be nothing wrong with Members of the Senedd displaying Welsh or British flags in their office. Indeed, the Senedd has such flags on display.

“Rather than policing members’ backdrops, it would be more helpful if the presiding officer expended energy ensuring government ministers addressed the Welsh Parliament first on issues such as lockdown restrictions, rather than the media and that they show respect to Senedd members by showing up on time.”

Meanwhile, the Welsh Conservative leader of the Senedd said:

We are having another normal one, then.

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