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MPs hear call for creation of minister to ‘protect and cherish’ flag of St George and Union Jack

18 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Photo by stephengg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

MPs have heard a call for the creation of a ministerial post to oversee use of “national symbols” as well as introducing legislation to protect the “cherished” flag of St George and Union Jack.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell (Romford) said people are “quite angered” by attempts to alter the appearance of flags.

Culture minister Stuart Andrew said he is unsure that legislation is required and that people just need to use common sense.

In designs revealed last month, Nike altered the appearance of the St George’s Cross using purple and blue horizontal stripes on the England football strip in what it called a “playful update” ahead of Euro 2024.

However, the decision proved controversial, with both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer criticising the change.

Union Flag Bill

In 2008 Mr Rosindell introduced the Union Flag Bill, which did not go on to become law, stating the legislation would affirm the Union flag as the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and encourage the flying of the flag from public buildings.

In the Commons on Thursday, Mr Rosindell said: “I think many people will be quite angered by the way certain national organisations have tried to change our national flags – the cross of St George and the Union Jack.

“Isn’t it time that we protected and cherished our national symbols by appointing a minister of the crown to oversee this from the Cabinet Office? And will he also look at the Union Flag Bill of 2008 which enshrines in legislation the protection of our cherished national flag?”

Mr Andrew replied: “The Union Jack should be a unifying symbol for the whole country and it has looked the way it has for the last several hundred years, and I see no point in messing around with it.

“I’m not sure that we need legislation, I think we just need some common sense.”

Royal family

Labour MP Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) asked if regulation on the use of images of the royal family in party literature would be pursued.

He said: “Would the minister be equally keen to prevent organisations such as political parties using images of His Majesty the King in their propaganda?”

To laughter from both sides of the House, Mr Andrew joked: “I’m not quite sure how to answer that question, if I’m honest.”

He continued: “The reality is that our party has always been proud to use the Union Jack because we are a proud unionist party and sometimes we will always be proud to support the royal family.”

More laughter and cries of “Sometimes?” could be heard from opposition benches.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt said later that preserving the England flag is “not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire”.

The comments came in response to criticism of her social media posts on Nike’s alteration of England football shirts from SNP Commons leader Deidre Brock.

Mr Rosindell also used Business questions to highlight St George’s Day on April 23 and asked: “Can we please have a public holiday for St George’s Day, perhaps even combined with May Day so that we have one great celebration for our country?”


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Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Nothing wrong with a St Georges Day Public Holiday, as long as we are not denied a Public Holiday on St Davids Day. Furthermore how about an English National Anthem just like we have our own in Wales, as do the Scots? Instead of the England football and rugby teams using the British anthem

Riki
Riki
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

The irony of it being called British, when they don’t even feature on it. The term originated as a descriptive for a solitary people, these people are now called Welsh in English. It’s an absolute insult to call or claim that rag as British.

Riki
Riki
1 month ago

England flag is fine, Union rag however is a joke and should be abolished as the UK is effectively a illegal state created out of the annexation of a sovereign nation. Russia bad when they do it, England did it for our benefit though, right?!

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 month ago

“unifying symbol” 😀 :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Martyn Young
Martyn Young
1 month ago

Someone feeling a little insecure?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago
Reply to  Martyn Young

That’s exactly it. We hear way too often ‘We used to have an Empire’ to distract from the fact they still do. They cannot bear to lose their last colonies, one of which is Cymru.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Martyn Young

Like someone going through a break up who resorts to desperate measures to save their relationship making them look even more unattractive. The biggest threat to the union – its not Plaid Cymru, the SNP or Sinn Fein. Its the Tories muscular unionism agenda. Anyone arriving into the capital of Wales via train and is faced with a giant ‘UK Government’ building with a Union flag on its roof. All this does is reminds voters that they are a colony.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Germany had a minister for flags in the 1930’s, his name was Joseph Goebbels.

Alwyn
Alwyn
1 month ago

Presumably Rosindell assumes the Scots, Northern Irish and Welsh all want to celebrate St George’s Day as a ‘national’ holiday for ‘our’ country. The wally once more equates England with the ‘United’ Kingdom. No wonder independence calls increase

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Alwyn

Colonialism.

Riki
Riki
1 month ago
Reply to  David

It’s worse than that, it, they seek to completely eradicate the Britons from history. They do this when and if the “Welsh” capitulate with the terms the English have set out on what it means to be British. Anything British prior to Anglo connections is not deemed worthy, why do you think that is? This is why, and incorrectly, they use the term “British” for English royals prior to 1707…when they can’t as no Englishman would have ever claimed such a thing. This is all about the transferring our history which took place over the entirety of Britain to the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Riki
Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Minister for funny walks next.

They already have a minister for common sense (really, they do!).

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Mr Rosindell. A patron saints day public holiday cannot be afforded. We have already been told this in Wales. Ms Mordaunt. The only way of truly preserving the England flag is to stop the Union Jack superseding it. National flags on public buildings. Those will be the Saltire and Y Ddraig Goch in Scotland and Wales respectively.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

So we have to fund a minister for English flags, because of a flag that appears on the back of a football shirt. Pathetic snowflakes. If the flag was do important it would be on the front. The union flag needs protecting I guess, from overuse on everything, it’s worn out. Can’t buy good without it these days, so insecure these fools.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago

The only use I have for the two flags of this article is to pick up my dog’s poo when out for a walk.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

What a waste of money. A minister to protect the Union & Saint George flags. Is it April 1st already? Never knew they were under threat. Personally always thought both were a threat not under threat. The English far-right and British imperialists use those flags as symbols of hate and oppression which cannot be said of our Y Ddraig Goch that remains untainted and a beacon of hope.

Richard E
Richard E
1 month ago

As a fluent Welsh Speaker and former Labour Councillor in Wrexham Stuart Andrew should know the need to respect Wales by supporting efforts of the English to gain their own national symbols.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

How many tens of thousands of pounds will this silly little idea cost for a job that will take a few hours a year to undertake…… if any? How many staff will he/she need?

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