‘Our Union flag is no Tory rag – it belongs to every single Brit’ – Rachael Bletchly

On St George’s Day in 2010 I used to be in Barking watching as a crimson and white normal was hoisted atop the thirteenth century church.

In a park beneath excited youngsters waved do-it-yourself flags and watched a ­show of jousting as locals sporting England soccer shirts and crimson rose button holes loved the spring sunshine.

It was, I wrote later, “the day the people of Barking and Dagenham reclaimed the flag of St George from the far right and used it to bring people together”.

Nick Griffin was standing within the native election in East London and his social gathering, the BNP, had made the flag their emblem, besmirching it with their bigotry.

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The Union Jack brings us collectively at instances of nationwide celebration, just like the anniversary of VE Day or a royal marriage ceremony

And 90% of individuals had grow to be too scared to fly one for concern of being branded racist.

So when the folks of Barking turned out in power for these St George’s Day festivities the message was very clear.

It’s the PEOPLE’S flag and self-serving politicians won’t ever give you the chance to hijack it.

But now Boris Johnson and his social gathering have sparked one other flag conflict by ­making an attempt to take possession of the Union Jack.

Geri Halliwell, a.k.a. Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls on stage at the Brit Awards, in a union jack dress, February 1997
Geri Halliwell, a.okay.a. Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls on stage on the Brit Awards, in a Union Jack dress, February 1997

They insist it have to be flown ­completely on all authorities ­buildings “as a symbol of liberty, unity and freedom” – whereas they pursue their very own divisive insurance policies and fail to increase requirements of residing.

Ministers will quickly be banned from giving interviews ­with out a big flag behind them or a small one on a lapel.

And No10’s “Union Unit”, tasked with averting Scottish independence, is ­continuously taking a look at methods to use the flag like a Tory model.

But it is already sowing disunity. And objectors branded “unpatriotic” are hitting out on the crimson, white and blue “flagshaggers”.

NOBODY owns the Union Flag. It belongs to every single Brit and every of us has our personal relationship with it.

To some it is an outdated ­image of Empire.

To others it represents obligation and sacrifice, laid on the coffins of heroes who’ve served their nation

But for a lot of it is merely the language image on computer software, a T-shirt emblem or Ginger Spice’s iconic dress from the Brits in 1997.

We don’t worship our flag in the way in which the Americans revere their Stars and Stripes.

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But it nonetheless brings us collectively at instances of nationwide celebration, just like the anniversary of VE Day or a royal marriage ceremony.

And London went flag-mad through the 2012 Olympics – as a pompous Tory made a earlier bid to hijack the Union Jack.

And zip-lining Boris Johnson obtained hoist together with his personal petard.

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