Petition launched against big Union Jack to be stuck on Cardiff tax office
A petition has been launched against a big Union Jack that is set to be emblazoned on the side of a Cardiff tax office.
Grassroots pro-independence group YesCymru has called the Chair of Cardiff Council Planning Committee, Cllr Keith Jones, to reverse the decision to give the “advertisement” the go-ahead.
It says that the huge British flag graphic, which is to be wrapped around the outside of the landmark city-centre building, “does not represent the people of Wales” and branded the move a “blatant political act designed to act as a provocation”.
The petition states: “We believe that as the capital city of Wales, visitors, commuters and residents should not be faced with a gigantic Union Jack flag on arrival at Cardiff Central railway station.
“This decision by Cardiff Council Planning Committee to grant permission to drape the HMRC building on Central Square is an act of political symbolism designed to promote ‘muscular unionism’ a reminder to the people of Wales of their subservient status in the United Kingdom.
“This flag does not represent the people of Wales and is a blatant political act designed to act as a provocation to the people of Wales.
“We the undersigned call on the Cardiff Council Planning Committee, and its chair Councillor Keith Jones, to withdraw their permission for this advertisement.”
Tim Hollinghust, who signed the petition, said: “Wales is not represented on the UK flag and until it is, it should not fly in Wales.”
Rhodri Tuck said: “Wasting public money, during a time when many are unable to feed their families, all in the name if nationalism, would be shameful, embarrassing and unforgivable.”
Kevin Davies said: “Aside from our being a waste of taxpayers money, it reinforces the image of Wales as a colony and is divisive, desperate and shallow”.
The move to green light the banner to go on the side of the building has received a hostile response on social media.
Former North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “Any other organisation for any other banner would have been refused planning. Who made the decision to grant? Elected members or officers on delegated authority? @huwthomas_Wales”.
“A good use of @YesCymru monies would be to fund a Judicial review against *p*** takes* like this.”
Chris Peplow said: “This is the Welsh Tax office. Welsh Government have to stop this happening.”
Vaughan Williams said: “This will serve as a reminder of what we’re gaining our independence from. The flag of yesteryear will drive us on to #IndyWales.”
John McAllister said: “Cardiff council at it again.”
The prominent branding comes amid a move towards “muscular unionism” by Boris Johnson’s government, which has also recently ruled the Union Jack must be flown above the Welsh flag and ordered civil servants to stop referring to “the four nations of the UK.”
The Tŷ William Morgan building was recently constructed in the city’s Central Square development, and is one of 16 new UK Government ‘hubs’.
Wales Secretary Simon Hart said Tŷ William Morgan, which provides offices for 4,000 civil servants but could also be used to host cabinet meetings, “shows the UK Government’s commitment to Wales and to strengthening the Union” when he officially opened the £100m building last January.
But the building sparked a constitutional backlash earlier this year when a large UK Government sign was applied to its façade. Nation.Cymru recently revealed that the branding cost almost £15,000.