Fury as Welsh Parliament BANS Union Jacks in 'bizarre' crackdown: 'Can fly what we want!'


    Lisa Nandy discusses Union Jack and patriotism

    During a meeting with the Welsh Parliament, presiding officer Elin Jones banned the use of all flags behind members. She said if flags continue to be seen in video calls she will fly the flag of “the independent tropical republic of Ceredigion”.

    She told members of the Parliament: “Can I just say that I’ve noticed a tendency for a proliferation of flags flying behind members on Zoom this week.

    “It looks as if the R rate on flags is greater than one at the moment.

    “Therefore, from next week, no more flags – otherwise I’ll be tempted to fly the flag of the independent tropical republic of Ceredigion behind me here.

    “So we move on to a flagless week next week, please.”

    Welsh Parliament bans all flags during video meetings

    Welsh Parliament bans all flags during video meetings (Image: Getty)

    Welsh Conservative leader, Andrew RT Davies

    Welsh Conservative leader, Andrew RT Davies (Image: Getty)

    However, the move to ban all flags, including the Union Jack, has been met with criticism and outrage.

    Welsh Conservative leader, Andrew RT Davies, tweeted: “Members should be free to display Welsh and British flags – and anything they want to be honest so long as it doesn’t break any code of conduct!

    “This is an overreach!”

    A spokesperson for the Welsh Conservatives said it was a “bizarre intervention” from Ms Jones.

    READ MORE: Tyneside council official orders Tories to take down Union Flags

    Welsh Parliament's presiding officer Elin Jones

    Welsh Parliament’s presiding officer Elin Jones (Image: Getty)

    They said: “This is a bizarre intervention from the presiding officer.

    “There should be nothing wrong with Members of the Senedd displaying Welsh or British flags in their office. Indeed, the Senedd has such flags on display.

    “Rather than policing members’ backdrops, it would be more helpful if the presiding officer expended energy ensuring government ministers addressed the Welsh Parliament first on issues such as lockdown restrictions, rather than the media and that they show respect to Senedd members by showing up on time.”

    This ban comes months after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport released guidance stating the Union Jack flag should be flown every day on all UK Government buildings.

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    Union Jack flag and the Welsh flag

    Union Jack flag and the Welsh flag (Image: Getty)

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the flag will act as “a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us”.

    These regulations will not apply to Northern Ireland, where there is legislation about flying flags from government buildings.

    SNP MP Mhairi Black said about the announcement: “This idea seems to have been inspired by Tory ministers watching an episode of the Thick of It, rather than a serious government.

    “If the Tories think an overload of union jacks on buildings is the answer to promote the strength of the union, then it shows how thin the case for the Union is.

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (Image: Getty)

    “Flags won’t undo the poverty and hardship the Tories have created over the last decade.”

    The Union Jack flag is currently only raised on Government buildings on about 20 “designated days”

    The BBC came under fire after BBC Breakfast hosts mocked the Union Jack flag during an interview with a Government minister.

    BBC Breakfast hosts Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty mocked a Union Jack flag during an interview with Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

    Union Jack will be flown on all Government buildings

    Union Jack will be flown on all Government buildings (Image: Getty)

    The hosts joked Mr Jenrick’s flag was “just a little bit small”.

    Following this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lashed out at the corporation and claimed the BBC is subject to “metropolitan bias”.

    Ms Munchetty later apologised for her social media activity but not for the behaviour of the presenters on BBC Breakfast.

    Union Jack flags waved during Last Night at the Proms

    Union Jack flags waved during Last Night at the Proms (Image: Getty)

    A statement issued by the BBC confirmed it had received complaints from people who were “unhappy” about Mr Stayt’s comments and Ms Munchetty reaction.

    It added: “It was meant as a light-hearted, off the cuff comment and no offence or disrespect was intended.

    “Naga and Charlie have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities, including the BBC’s impartiality and social media guidelines.”


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