The ignominious lowering of the St George's flag over Downing Street

The Press Association reports that the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson has confirmed that the St George’s flag was removed from the Downing Street flagstaff  “early this morning” and has been replaced by the Union Flag.

I said all along that it was a mistake to fly the St George’s flag, instead of the Union flag, above Downing Street during the World Cup. It creates unnecessary division and is an  affront to all the Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish and English sportswomen and men who represent us and win in many other sports. It is Little Englander snobbishness at its worse in the very place in London which should clearly and proudly proclaim the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at all times, without picking and choosing between sports and constituent nations.

And now we see another reason why the St George’s flag shouldn’t have been raised – it has to be lowered under cover of dawn in the most humiliating of circumstances. Most undignified. 

I wonder if the “Last Post” was played as it came down….

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12 thoughts on “The ignominious lowering of the St George's flag over Downing Street

  1. How about looking at this in reverse, should the other British sides qualify for the World Cup, we can proudly fly their flag as well!

    It would only be an affront to other British sides if we were to refuse to fly their flag should they qualify.

    • Well, in that case the Saltire should be flying above Downing Street now during Wimbledon. Why should it just be a football competition that spurs flag fying just because England happen to be the ones that mostly qualify?

  2. As you know, I’m Anglo Irish and love all parts of the British Isles and all of its peoples. I’m not, however, in favour of the Union itself any longer since Gordon Brown enacted discriminatory devolution, denying England the parliament and devolved powers allowed to all other parts of the union. That was blatantly undemocratic and unjust and I believe that discrimintion can only, sadly, be resolved by an English parliament.

    Until England has its own parliament, where it can fly its own flag to its heart’s content, you are perfectly correct in berating the British PM for raising the English flag over Downing Street.

    Where you are completely wrong, I believe, is in your use of the racist expression ‘Little Englander’. I very much doubt that you would use the expression ‘little Irelander, Scotlander, or Welshlander’, though there is undoubtedly the same proportion of stupid nationalist supremacy in those countries as in England, so why use that bigoted expression in respect of the English?

    I can see no motive for it other than to stir up a very nasty form of nationalism which has no place in reasoned discussion.

    • “so why use that bigoted expression in respect of the English?”

      Well I’m English myself. Born and bred. My English family goes back many centuries – and yes, Cornwall is part of England.

      Little Englander is a term indicating an anti-imperialist political stance dating from the time of the Second Boer War (1899–1901)….In modern times, a “Little Englander” is applied to those who are regarded as xenophobic and/or overly nationalistic and are often accused of being ignorant and boorish. It is frequently applied to those who are against membership of the European Union. English people who mistakenly refer to the whole of the UK or Britain as “England” may also be called “Little Englanders”.Wikipedia

  3. Interesting that you chose a Wikipedia since it gives highly subjective definitions.

    Neither Macmillans, Collins or Farlex mention the EU or ignorance or boorishness as associated with the expression.

    The term Little Englander is used as an ad hominem to avoid debate and that’s its only real modern meaning.

    • I am quite comfortable with my usage of the term, Colleen. Mick Hucknall wrote a song called “Little Englander”. I haven’t heard him being accused of being a bigot.

  4. The FIFA World Cup is the biggest international sporting event in the World where countries compete against each other. Wimbledon is an individual event and is not based around countries competing against each other.

    Like I said, should the other British teams get through to the WC and the flag is refused over Downing Street, I’d say there was an injustice, but like chochokeira said, we are theoretically ‘prevented’ from flying our flag on our country’s parliament, but I would imagine the other countries’ parliaments in Britain would fly ‘their’ flag should their team went to the finals.

    A Cornish-man, ain’t English anyway! (that last bit was a joke) 😛

  5. I don’t make the rules about flying a flag, BUT, if you insist, Rugby (a game I enjoy watching) is a fringe sport compared to the biggest sporting event in the world.

    If, however, a country of Great Britain were being represented on the world wide stage, I see no problem with flying that country’s flag.

    Although I’m not that big on this flag flying (it’s not very ‘English’), it seems the lefties make just as much of this as the righties. It seems, when other countries behave like this, it is seen as nationalist pride, when it occurs in England, it is Little Englander.

    I’d say the sooner both sides quit with their patronising attitudes, we will continue to see this rather childish arguement.

  6. Paul, Try a google search on ‘Mick Hucknall’ and ‘hate’: you don’t think the two might be connected?

    Rusty Bullet: “it seems the lefties make just as much of this as the righties. It seems, when other countries behave like this, it is seen as nationalist pride, when it occurs in England, it is Little Englander.

    I’d say the sooner both sides quit with their patronising attitudes, we will continue to see this rather childish arguement.”

    Well said!

    • “Try a google search on ‘Mick Hucknall’ and ‘hate'”

      Don’t see anything referring to “Little Englander”. I know MH is pretentious etc. I didn’t need to do a Google search for that.

      Racism is defined as “Discrimination or prejudice based on race”. It is quite ridiculous to say that “Little Englander” is a “racist expression”. Little Englander is referring to people with a certain attitude – like Xenophobes or Europhobes. It is not referring to a race of people.

      “I can see no motive for it other than to stir up a very nasty form of nationalism which has no place in reasoned discussion.”

      The motive for my using that term was to characterise the attitude of some people in England who overly display the English flag and who confuse England with the UK. That is not racist.

      If you cannot handle what is a fairly usual use of an ordinary term, often used in daily parlance, then there is something very wrong indeed.

      How on earth can I make a racist attack on the English when I am English myself and , most importantly, I am referring to people ranked by attitude – not race? It is just a complete nonsense.

      This discussion is closed.

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