Council Vetoes Display of English Flag Because It's "Offensive
A local council in England vetoed the display of a St. George's Cross flag over concerns that it would be "offensive to Muslims," while allowing the rainbow flag of the "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride movement" to be flown.
"A local council decided against flying the flag of St George after concerns were raised that it would offend the town’s 16 Muslim residents," reports the Telegraph. "Eleanor Jackson, a university lecturer, said the red and white symbol could cause upset in Radstock, Somerset, because it was used during the Crusades 1,000 years ago."
Jackson suggested that use of the flag be dropped for 20 years not only because "it is offensive to some Muslims," but also due to its use by "the far right."
Muslim groups reacted to the ban by deriding it as "oversensitive" and "political correctness going a bit too far."
"Use by the far right is one thing, but to say that Muslims are offended I don't think is correct. We understand the flag is part of this country's heritage, and in fact many many Muslims will identify as being British themselves," said Rizwan Ahmed, a spokesman for the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society.
Muslim Council of Britain spokeswoman Nasima Begum said that England's patron saint "needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred.”
After the decision stoked controversy, the council claimed that the views of Eleanor Jackson were "not really taken into consideration," and that they had planned on purchasing a Union Jack all along.
The council did not seem to be worried that the display of a rainbow flag at "appropriate" times of the year to represent the "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride movement" would offend anyone.
This is by no means the first time that displaying the national flag of England has been discouraged or banned by authorities over fears it might offend minority immigrant populations.
During the 2010 World Cup, 1200 council staff in Bolton were banned from flying the English flag "over fears they could deemed as racist."
When builders in Coventry flew the St. George's Cross they were told by site managers to take it down within 20 minutes over concerns it might ”offend” the local multi-ethnic community.
In 2009, Labour-run Sandwell Council withdrew funding for a a St George's Day parade, citing fears that it "might attract far right elements."
This story again illustrates how, while British people are expected to express their "patriotism" by supporting wars that primarily target Muslim populations in foreign countries, any attempt to display pride in one's country that isn't state-approved is routinely demonized as racist and offensive.
Unlike in America, it is also seen as abnormal and a potential indication of racism to display a St. George's Cross on occasions that are not related to state or royal pageantry, such as the 2012 royal wedding.
While the former Labour government and many of its councilors who are still in power set about demonizing the display of the English flag as racist, they simultaneously oversaw a deliberate "mass influx of immigrants" in order to "change the make-up of Britain" and "rub the Right’s nose in diversity."
Lord Mandelson, who served in a number of different Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, admitted: “In 2004 when as a Labour government, we were not only welcoming people to come into this country to work, we were sending out search parties for people and encouraging them, in some cases, to take up work in this country.”