My Country’s Flag

800px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom_(3-5).svg This is the flag of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Flag_of_England

This is the flag of England which is part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Tomorrow, 23rd April, is St. George’s Day. St. George, is the patron saint of England, Ethiopia, Georgia amongst others and the patron Saint of Scouting. On the Sunday closest to St. George’s day, Scouts in the UK take part in a parade in their town or village, attend a church service and renew our Promise.

The parade is normally (in England certainly) lead by a Scout Band, followed by the UK flag and the flag of England (St. George’s Cross) and then each of the Groups or sections with their own flags.

However, one of our local Districts has been told not to parade with either the UK or English flags! You will have to forgive me if I am deliberately vague here, but I can’t get into specifics.

The reason for this is one of the areas they are parading through has a predominantly Asian population and offence doesn’t want to be given to the local population!

The problem is that the UK and English flags have been used by far right and racist organisations and now have the ‘wrong image’ within the Asian community.

However, this stance offends ME. The Scouts of this District have been parading with these two flags for many, many years without causing offence. They are our national flags, the flags of this country. How stupid to say you can’t parade with your own country’s flag in your own country! I could never see this happening in Canada or the USA, for example, where they are proud of their flags and what they represent.

At my District’s parade on Sunday, we will have the UK and English flags at the head of our parade and we will be proud to parade behind them!

6 Replies to “My Country’s Flag”

  1. We had this debate in Sweden in the 90ies, after the rightwing extremist and neonazis had “claimed” the flag for theirs. Also the singing of the national anthem was questioned. It took a few years of misguided consideration, until more and more prominent people of other origin than Scandinavian stood up in media and told us what prats we were to disregard our own heritage on acount of a small number of (other) extremists.

    I feel that the Swedish flag now flies proudly again, and also there has been a revival of the national anthem. The debate has gone on to wether it is right celebrate the end of term in church, when schools generally have a large number of children who are of no faith or other faiths than Christianity. I know that very few schools in England have end of term ceremonies, but here it is a tradition dating back to the turn of the last century, when church had a larger influence on life in general and schools in particular. Now, state schools, by law, has to be non-confessional, but still many have church services.

    What I mean to say is, that the debate will change in time. I would contact upstanding representatives in the area where you are going to march and listen to them. If they really are against using the flag – don’t, I’m sure that they have reasons, but more likely it’s the politicians and civil servants who are afraid to rock the boat. If you then can get voices from the Asian community to speak up on your behalf – Bob’s your uncle. I think.

  2. That’s the trouble, of course, it’s always the minority that ruins it for the majority. It’s especially unfortunate when the minority that caused these problems are so unpleasant and odious (I’m being VERY polite here!).
    I hope that the District concerned will be able to speak to some of the ‘upstanding representatives’ of the area concerned and a reasonable outcome happens. Although I guess it won’t happen before this Sunday, it would be good to get agreements for next time.

  3. I have been amazed this year by some claptrap talked by some people. There are several groups trying to revive St Georges day and saying we should celebrate our national day. Hear hear I say but wait! The Association of Chief Constables has decided that it is not the job of the police to manage parades and marches. So many districts were not able to parade this year. Our district were told that to do so would involved a charge of £3000. Gosh its back to money again!
    It beggars belief that anyone could envisage a parade celebrating a patron Saint’s day without flying the country’s flag or the Saint’s flag.
    Most normal people of other faiths think we are daft to listen to people who want to ban everything English. They think the PC mob are raving lunatics.
    Lets do what is right and sensible and ignore these silly people.
    Next year our district will be celebrating with a Scouts’ own and if there are Scouts of other faiths we will renew the promise for each faith.
    I really like the 2007 ‘motto’ “One World One Promise”.
    Lets get on with real Scouting and world peace which these miguided people are trying to destroy.

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