There is a story in the Express UKIP fury as Labour and Lib Dems ‘claim Union flag is nasty and nationalistic. This story is based off a Conservative party press release that UKIP MEP Jane Collins has reacted to. She is quoted as having said:
They’re quite happy to take their expenses off the British taxpayer yet insult the country by saying that children should not sing the national anthem and that the Union Flag is ‘nasty’.
We categorical deny having called the Union Flag nasty, and wonder where the UKIP MEP who wasn’t at the meeting got this quote from. It’s an example of really bad journalism where one person makes an allegation, and then it’s reported in the headline in a way that makes it seem like a fact.
What’s alarming is how quickly some people have accepted that story as gospel. At least one UKIP supporter has suggested that we ought to be hung for treason! UKIP should be ashamed of this type of incitement to violence from one of their supporters.
— James (@kipperlounge) October 8, 2015
We have no problem if schools choose to fly the flag or sing the anthem. We said we don’t think it’s the role of the Council to encourage them to do this. I find it immensely hypocritical that the Conservatives having spent years arguing schools should be run separately as academies now see the Council as an appropriate vehicle to try and tell them how to teach citizenship.
Our position is clear, It’s down to teachers and governors to decide how to teach citizenship and choose themselves whether they want to fly flags, not the Council. We expect many will choose to spend 15 mins on education rather than saluting the flag and singing the anthem.
Below for the sake of clarification is the wording of the Labour amendment to the Conservative motion. This amended was carried and that became the substantive motion the Council passed. Noticed nowhere does it call the flag ‘nasty’, in fact it includes a schedule of days in which we WOULD fly the flag on Council buildings and promote citizenship ceremonies.
The full text of the motion is as follows:
Flying the Union Flag
This Council: (a) Notes that promotion of our British values and participation in civil society is an important part of the national curriculum, and recognises that headteachers and governors have the responsibility for determining the most appropriate ways of applying and promoting our shared values within their school community.
(b) Resolves to continue to delegate decisions over the flying of flags from the Town Hall and other civic buildings to the Governance and Business committee, in consultation with the Civic Advisory Group, and notes the current arrangements agreed by the Council as per below:
(c) Requests the Governance and Business Committee to consider how greater prominence can be given to Citizenship Ceremonies, highlighting the commitment show to this country by those who seek to adopt our citizenship.
|9 January||Birthday of the Duchess of Cambridge||Union Flag|
|20 January||Birthday of the Countess of Wessex||Union Flag|
|6 February||Her Majesty, The Queen’s Accession||Union Flag|
|19 February||Birthday of The Duke of York||Union Flag|
|10 March||Birthday of The Earl of Wessex||Union Flag|
|21 April||Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen||Union Flag|
|23 April||St George’s Day||St George’s Flag|
|2 June||Coronation Day||Union Flag|
|10 June||Birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh||Union Flag|
|moveable date in June||Official Celebration of Her Majesty’s Birthday||Union Flag|
|21 June||Birthday of the Duke of Cambridge||Union Flag|
|17 July||Birthday of The Duchess of Cornwall||Union Flag|
|15 August||Birthday of The Princess Royal||Union Flag|
|Second Sunday in November||Remembrance Day||Union Flag|
|14 November||Birthday of The Prince of Wales||Union Flag|
|20 November||Her Majesty The Queen’s Wedding Day||Union Flag|
|Second Monday in March||Commonwealth Day||Commonwealth|
|Two weeks before||Poppy Appeal||Royal British Legion Flag|
|Last week in June||Armed Forces week||Armed Forces Day flag|
|1 August||Yorkshire Day||Yorkshire Flag|
|Two weeks before Remembrance Sunday||Poppy Appeal Period||Poppy Appeal Flag|
|17th May||International Day against Homophobia (IDAHO)||Rainbow Flag|
|25th November||White Ribbon Day|