Union jack

A handy guide to flags

The Union Jack is back. No TV interview with a government minister is complete without a flag and their departments have been ordered to hoist them above their offices. Soon our country will look like a never-ending Golden Jubilee street party, but with neither refreshments nor festivities. We’d all like a street party, but many are embarrassed by constant flag waving, especially when the flag in question is the Union Jack. The students of London’s Pimlico Academy were so put out by the idea of flags that they even went as far as to argue that the Union Jack flying outside their school was an emblem of racism, demanding that the

Yours for £66, an official Whitehall flagpole

Flags are suddenly all the rage in British politics, with scarcely a day going by it seems without a fresh row over the Union Jack. First a leaked Labour report last month on how to win back voters was splashed on the front page of the Guardian along with its recommendations that Labour make ‘use of the flag, veterans [and] dressing smartly’ — an uncontroversial observation that triggered days of handwringing from the usual suspects.  Then there was the continued comment about ministers on Zoom with an ever-growing number of flags in the background. And just yesterday BBC stars found themselves in hot water for sniggering at Robert Jenrick’s Union Jack in the background of his

Why are some Labour supporters embarrassed by the Union Jack?

How does Labour plan to win back the Red Wall? A leaked internal Labour strategy document gives one answer: it says the party must make ‘use of the flag’. This sounds like a sensible way to woo those voters put off by Jeremy Corbyn. But the deranged backlash from some Labour activists suggests that not everyone agrees. It also shows why the party is doomed to fail in its bit to change its image for the better. Labour activists took to social media yesterday to decry Keir Starmer on the strategy, asking why the Labour leader is risking alienating so many of his party’s core support. That just mentioning the Union flag in a positive