Super Furry Animal delivers 20k petition against 100ft Union Jack on Cardiff tax office
A musician from the Super Furry Animals has delivered a 20,000-strong petition against plastering a 100ft Union Jack on a Cardiff tax office.
Keyboard player Cian Ciaran took the signatures to the city council on behalf of pro-independence group YesCymru.
The decision by Cardiff Council to green light the “advertisement” on the side of the UK Government building has faced a fierce backlash, and Ciaran has called on it to “reconsider”.
The petition calls on the Chair of Cardiff Council Planning Committee, Cllr Keith Jones, to reverse the decision to give the huge British flag graphic the go-ahead.
The ad is set to be wrapped around the outside of the landmark city-centre building, Tŷ William Morgan, but according to YesCymru it “does not represent the people of Wales”.
It has also branded the move a “blatant political act designed to act as a provocation”.
In a video message Cian Ciaran said: “Here we are on our way to county hall. We’re going to take this 20,000-strong petition to the planning department where hopefully they’ll reconsider the decision to hang an 8 storey tall Union Jack on the tax office in the capital city of Wales.”
YesCymru said: “This morning @cianciaran presented a 20,000 signature petition on behalf of @yescymru to Cardiff Council Planning department to stop the Union Jack being hung on the HMRC offices. Watch this space for developments.
“@cianciaran does his best to present the petition in person to councillior Keith Jones, Head of Planning @cardiffcouncil”.
‘Capital city of Wales’
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.”
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.”
‘Doesn’t represent Wales’
Alun Rees, who has signed the petition, said: The Union Jack doesn’t represent Wales… we are not represented on it at all.”
Judy Fear said: “The government are totally wrong if they think that a massive representation of the Union flag will help bring the nations together. It’s like a tomcat marking its territory. It’s really annoyed me and I’m English!”
Warren Cooper said: “I don’t think we should have the Union Jack flying in Wales. We are not represented on the flag we are Wales we have our own flag a beautiful red dragon. Put that up and be proud of Wales and our nation.”
Ryan Harper said: “Wales has struggled to maintain its identity after years of Westminster tomfoolery, this is just another example of English Parliament trying to force Wales to keep in line.”
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.