Martin Phillips, Sun (London), June 7, 2006
Today The Sun goes into battle to defend the right of all English men and women to fly our national flag.
Nothing unites the nation quite like sporting passion.
And nothing gets small-minded killjoys on their high horses quite like signs of national pride.
The sight of English flags proudly fluttering all around the country ahead of this month’s World Cup has got the petty jobsworths up in arms.
They brand anyone who dares to show their love for our country as racist — and sneer at anyone who takes pride in being English.
We have news for them. Patriotism is NOT a dirty word.
The cross of St George no more belongs to the loony busybodies than it does to loathsome bigoted racists. It belongs to us — the English — whatever colour our skin; whatever our cultural or religious background.
Today, in the spirit of our patron saint, The Sun calls for the slaying of the dragon of political correctness — and urges readers to fly the flag with pride.
Killjoys at cable giant NTL are among the latest party-poopers — ordering van drivers and subcontractors to tear down their flags in case they offend Muslims.
One shocked driver said: “If we’re seen with any flags on our vans we’ll be given a written warning.”
The company insisted: “We work in many multicultural areas and in different countries within Britain so we want to maintain a professional image and a sense of impartiality.” Among others to be hit by a flag ban are:
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Bosses claim St George crosses pose a health and safety risk — because the flags might get caught in the wind and fly on to a runway.
TAXI DRIVERS in Blackpool — also banned from wearing England shirts in case they upset foreign visitors.
CABBIES in Cheltenham, Gloucs, who have been threatened with having licences revoked. The council claims flags are dangerous since they could fall off — a view now backed by Hampshire Police.
They want a blitz on drivers flying “unsafe” flags, claiming they could frighten horses and strike pedestrians.
FIREMEN in Barking, East London — barred from hoisting the flag at their station. The ruling was imposed despite Barking Mosque Secretary Ashfaq Siddique declaring: “We’re not offended — it’s a national flag!”
TESCO also got in on the act by banning its lorry drivers from flying the flag — although the supermarket giant later backtracked. Yesterday Massoud Shadjareh, leader of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, claimed English or British flags still conjure images of racism and the British National Party.
But The Sun says that banning ordinary English men and women from flying the flag only surrenders it to the moronic minority.
It is up to us all to clamp down on bigots who would use our national flag to excuse vile behaviour.
The town hall tyrants hell-bent on spoiling the World Cup party should hang their heads in shame. Most of the country’s Muslims are happy to get behind the flag — although there are some who never will.
Anjem Choudary, a former leader of the Islamic extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, claimed the St George flag symbolised a bloodthirsty past. He said: “The cross does represent Christianity and for Muslims it also represents a crusader history of occupation and murder.”
The Beeb is to broadcast all of it’s World Cup games live online, letting office workers keep up with the action. Director of sport ROger Mosey said: “This will allow people to do their job and keep up with the latest actiopn from Germany.