The England Flag

C’mon Gordon, join the rest of us and fly the flag for England

Surrender! At last! For you, Blair, the culture war is over. Downing Street yesterday ran up the white flag – the one with the red cross on it. For the period of the World Cup, said a cowed Labour spokesman, the emblem of St George would fly from No 10.

Across England yesterday there were still Leftist forces that were keeping up resistance, oblivious to the Hirohito-like capitulation of the high command. In the country’s Labour-controlled urban jungles, the culture warriors fought on with the pointlessness of Japanese privates lost in Burma in 1945.

In Salford City Council there was still a bonkers cell of Marxists, who insisted that the England flag be banned from all vehicles in its control. “The council must be sensitive to how residents of other nationalities would react to England flags being displayed,” said a Salford spokesman.

In Blackpool, the Labour council has maintained its ban on the town’s taxi drivers wearing football shirts, or any other item of apparel bearing the word England, or a red cross with a white background, or three lions.

In British prisons last night it was still unacceptable for gaolers to be found wearing Cross of St George tie pins, since these are allegedly thought by some inmates to be an insensitive reminder of the crusades.

But in London, here at Westminster, at the heart of the Labour machine, the surrender has been abject.

You could hardly move for red and white flags or for Lefty politicians prostrating themselves before them.

Lunchers in a Commons canteen were treated to the sight of a bearded Labour sports minister, in full England kit, complete with hairy knees, raving into the microphones about the joys of waving the flag. Tessa Jowell has two fluttering from her ministerial limo.

Dear old Blunkett could be heard denouncing the “political correctness” that for so long had prevented the English from waving their national symbol.

Down with “political correctness” said this ex-leader of Sheffield City Council, and I leave it to you to savour the enormous and blissful hypocrisy of it all.

These are the same Labour apparatchiks who have spent their political lives trying to banish this symbol from our national iconography.

Imagine what would have happened, even three years ago, if you and I had crept into the car park and slapped a St George bumper sticker on the rump of Tessa’s ministerial limo. Imagine her horror when she came upon it.

Her hands would have flown to her mouth; she would have given a little gasp, and then with feverish fingernails she would have tried to detach this appalling mark of the Little Englanders, and its horrible associations: pitbulls with studded collars and five-bellied owners with buzzcuts and beer bottles thudding on the bonces of foreign football fans; long, hot weed-gardened terraces in Essex with satellite dishes on the walls and nothing on the shelves inside save a few back numbers of The Spectator, and possibly the odd well-thumbed polemic by Roger Scruton or Simon Heffer.

“Ugh!” she would have exclaimed, and if she had been unable to peel it off, she would have amended it with her red nail varnish until it resembled something more politically correct, such as the flag of communist China.

That’s what the Labour elite used to think of the English flag, and they only capitulate now because they have no choice.

It is the cultural equivalent of the storming of the Bastille or the Winter Palace. It is a revolution that was born among the scaffolders and the taxi drivers and the pub owners, and then spread to the bourgeoisie to the point where the Labour elite knew they could no longer contain it; they had to co-opt it.

They know in their hearts that, yes, there is still much about the exuberant display of the English flag that they find ideologically troubling.

Yes, it is still intended, by some people, to be a little bit in yer face. It is being flown with ever greater passion because a growing number of people are obscurely aware that England gets a raw deal in our constitution.

It is fashionable to say that the West Lothian question is just a “beltway” issue. But wherever I go I find people who instinctively understand the absurdity that Tony Blair is set to transfer power to Gordon Brown – with all the democratic accountability of the transition from Claudius to Nero – and that Gordon Brown, a Scottish MP, will be able to impose very controversial measures on English constituencies, when English MPs have no corresponding say over those questions in Scotland, and when (the crowning absurdity) he, Gordon, will have no say over those questions in so far as they affect his own constituents.

That is why poor Gordon gnaws his nails, and looks with ever more despair at the growing Labour claque for the English postman Alan Johnson, a claque that I now officially join, not least since he is probably a distant cousin and we Johnsons must stick together.

That is why Gordon now announces, pathetically, that he will be supporting the English team, and that is why I have no doubt that before the World Cup is out poor Gordon will have been bullied by the actions of his neighbour into submission.

Tony has pledged to fly the flag. Will Gordon have the nerve to do the same? Will Gordon have the nerve to resist? Yes, my friends, such will be the hysteria over the next few days that I predict that we will eventually see the hilarious and pitiful spectacle of the England flag being raised over No 11 as well. Gordon will put his ambition before his national feeling, to the derision of his fellow Scotsmen.

The Labour classes will finally bow to the masses and in the matter of the flag the masses are right. The prevalence and success of this cross shows how wrong and how misguided the multiculturalists have been, in the past 30 years, to try to suppress national symbols, and how powerful a flag can be in uniting a country rather than dividing it. Oh yes: I almost forgot. Everyone, whatever their race, creed, colour, is also flying the flag because they want England to beat Paraguay on Saturday.

69 thoughts on “The England Flag”

  1. I’m not sure about all this flag nonsense really, if I sit in my favourite spot at the bar now I look up to see that I’m underneath an Iranian one!

  2. We always wondered about you, Steven. That explains much. CSIS will be in touch shortly.

    In Salford City Council there was still a bonkers cell of Marxists, who insisted that the England flag be banned from all vehicles in its control. “The council must be sensitive to how residents of other nationalities would react to England flags being displayed,” said a Salford spokesman.

    Well as a Marxist I can tell you those aren’t Marxists, they’re Relativists, a far inferior breed.

    Now I must be off to compose an email to Salford City Council explaining that the ownership of nice, big houses by certain Salfordians instils in this resident of another nation a feeling of marginalization and relative poverty that can be alleviated completely by simply signing over to me one such house.

    As for how I feel about Salfordians displaying the English flag: I don’t actually (and this is quite a technical point, I know) give a rat’s ass.

  3. Raincoaster, may I join you in the noble activity of also not giving a rat’s ass. Do we share rat’s asses, or do I have to find one of my own not to give.

  4. What is “hot weed”? And where can I buy some?

    And there was a time, a long time ago, when the only people who would wave St. George’s flag, or any flag at all, were the BNP. Now that flags have become near-universal, the BNP no longer have the flag as their symbol. This is progress.

    But it’s not just St. George’s flags that are blooming. For years one of my English locals has proudly sported a Confederate Rebel Flag. This is refreshing. As is the beer.

  5. In Salford City Council there was still a bonkers cell of Marxists, who insisted that the England flag be banned from all vehicles in its control. “The council must be sensitive to how residents of other nationalities would react to England flags being displayed,” said a Salford spokesman.

    Is this a real council spokesman, or a made up tabloid one? It seems a strange thing to say on behalf of a council clearly so worried about causing offence that it has a flag gallery on its website.

  6. idlex, hot weed is weed that has been stolen and fenced. Boris knows these things because he hangs around with journalists (and I know them because I live in Vancouver). Did you know it’s illegal to display a Confederate flag throughout much of the South now? Very weird; in the rest of the South it seems to be compulsory. When I was at University we keenly noted which boys had Confederate flags as curtains on their room; those fellows were doubtless perplexed by the fact that they had to go off-campus for their conquests. To this day they probably hang them in the trailer and enjoy the company of the “professionally friendly.”

    Vicus, I think you can borrow FE’s oppossum and outrank my rat.

  7. Raincoater:

    a) Who are CSIS?

    b) I only went off the Iranians after you posted that faithfreedom link a few months back and directed me to graphic pictures of people being stoned for their sexual preferences!

  8. Americans seem to take their flags very seriously. One of my most interesting vexillological* experiences was with an American living in England. He owned a large house which looked like any other house on his street. But inside there was a different scene: a huge Stars and Stripes hung in the stairwell, from the ceiling to the floor. It must have been a good forty feet high, and pretty much the biggest flag I’d ever seen.

    He lives in Texas now, I believe. And I wonder whether he continues the strange practice of flying a flag inside his house, but not outside.

    * I only discovered this word today. Vexillology is the study and collection of information about flags.

  9. CSIS are the Canadian James Bonds who recently, along with the RCMP from whom they were split off, arrested those 17 suspected terrorists.

    If you think Iran is bad, check out Saudi Arabia. My mother would have been under sentence of death if they knew she’d been squaredancing. I said, “Mother, some things are just not worth it,” but would she listen???

    Americans are fetishistic about their flags, it’s true. It’s so bizarre to cross the border because all of a sudden every fourth building is a church, every second one is a gas station or mall, and the rest all, and I mean ALL have flags. We consider flying a flag on anything other than Canada Day or perhaps World Hockey Championship Playoffs to be an unseemly display of enthusiasm. We don’t even wear Roots clothing: that’s for the tourists.

  10. Well I’m spending Saturday afternoon having a nice game of cricket.

    My view on all this is if they want to have a football tournament in Europe they should do it in the European football season.

    And to be honest I can’t remember a time when people were not allowed to fly flags to support out football team, I think this is all just tabloid nonsense. Ok there might be a few white aetheists in town halls that have a hidden agenda with all this banning of religious and national symbolism, but it is mainly tabloid nonsense.

    Nice stab at Mr Brown Boris, he does deserve it, but next week can we get back to some real politics please?

  11. Has anyone any sound info or unsound opnions on this White Dragon business? This is apaprently the ancient flag of England from Saxon times. Annoy the BNP and also stand out from the crowd! Where can I buy one?

  12. I ‘googled’ ‘white dragon flag england’ and got over one and half million hits!

    There are a lot of flag stores you can see one at and plenty of reading about its history from various articles Jack.

  13. I so agree with your column in the Daily Telegraph today. I was in N Norfolk at the w/end with an England flag on my car and was nearly drummed out. Hurrah for Boris

  14. I agree with everything that you say, Boris (and well done, you, for saying it in a national newspaper), but there remains another anomaly. There are Welsh Conservatives and Scottish Conservatives, but no English Conservatives. They both have their respective sites, but England seems not to have one. Would you arrange to have this rectified?

  15. Marvellous that the English have rediscovered their flag .
    All we need now is for the 529 MP’s for English constitencies in the British parliament to discover the art of protecting the interests of their English constituents AS English constituents . So far , their silence on the vast discrimination by the British government against England and the English is probably the greatest free gift to an alien ruling elite in the history of modern politics .

  16. I don’t really care about the World Cup, or flying flags, but I wouldn’t mind displaying a giant poster of Boris performing ‘that’ tackle.

    That does stir some patriotism.

  17. “In British prisons last night it was still unacceptable for gaolers to be found wearing Cross of St George tie pins, since these are allegedly thought by some inmates to be an insensitive reminder of the crusades.”

    Pull the other one Boris. Or have you simply been reading too much of the Daily Wail again. I can think of a lot of reasons for HM Prison Staff not to wear tie pins to work.

  18. Jack –

    Personally, I’m not quite sure about all this political flaggery (so to speak). One one hand, yes, of course it’s nothing more than blatant, pathetic opportunism, but on the other hand (and this applies in general rather than purely within politics) I’m just happy to see St. George flying for once.

    I do wish they wouldn’t come down at the end of the tournament though. I have mine (and my Union Flag) up all year round.

  19. Is Salford Council’s ban a tabloid invention? asks Ruudboy. Did they really say the council must be sensitive to how residents of other nationalities would react? After all, they even have a “flags” section on their website.

    Well Ruudboy, even if the spokesman didn’t say those precise words you can bet your bottom Euro that’s what many councillors and staff are thinking, because that’s how they think. Why else would they stop a dustman wearing an England T shirt? Helf & sayftee?

    And don’t be fooled by the flags page – this is for public contributions, leaving the council at arm’s length while appearing to support this wretched soccer circus. Very clever.

    Also note the blurb
    “There’s nothing like a flag to act as a symbol of pride and identity to promote a particular country or region, or to support your favourite team in the World Cup!”

    All nicely diverse, inclusive and equal, you see. Indeed there’s one pic of someone from Holland supporting the Dutch team. The council will jacking off about that, though they’d doubtless prefer to see someone from a hot country parading his tat.

    Me, I’m going to bed now. Please wake me when it’s all over.

  20. Never mind tie pins being tacky, in case you lot haven’t noticed ties are tacky too now! Lets have some legislation that means employers can’t force you to do up your top button and wear a tie.

    The Employment (Suits, Shirts, Ties and Tie-pins) Regulations 2006

  21. The Employment (Suits, Shirts, Ties and Tie-pins) Regulations 2006 (Steven_L)

    I hope these regulations are enacted very soon. However, since the regulations would presumably allow people to wear whatever they like, within reason, they would be of a liberating character which runs entirely contrary to the legislative ethos, which is almost invariably to ban things, or, in their favourite parlance, ‘to crack down’ on undesirable behaviour. It goes entirely against the grain, nay perhaps even the natural order of the universe, for any legislator to consider simply allowing people to do what they like.

    Accordingly there will have to be anti-suit, tie, and tie-pin legislation. And, as is mandatory these days, some health risk must be found in wearing suits and ties. But this is never a obstacle, since there are health risks attached to absolutely everything, and it never takes long to discover risks.

    In this respect, I think a few gruesome stories of people who have inadvertantly strangled themselves with their own ties, or had them caught in the train doors, should alert and sensitize the public to the menace, and build the climate of fear necessary for the government to act to ‘crack down’ on ties.

  22. Yeah Boris, manifesto commitment to bring in the tie regs or Ming gets my vote with his tax cuts!

  23. The taxi drivers had been told they were not allowed to fly the St George Cross because of “safety issues”.

    Elfin Shapely, as ever. In advanced Western civilisation, one does not argue the morality of conduct, but instead its pathology. If you want to ban something, look for ways in which it might cause disease, injury, death, or (best of all) global warming.

    It may be argued that multiple large (i.e. bigger than a postage stamp) flags divert and obstruct other drivers’ vision, and thus cause accidents, injuries, and premature death. And, hey presto, bob’s your uncle.

  24. I do find all these English flags everywhere rather distasteful. No reason to ban them, but I do rather like understatement.

    As for schools – why on earth would someone be carrying a flag in school?

  25. Ties are not tacky. They may well be uncomfortable, but they can be lovely. There are, however, very few things as tacky as a bad tie, so I am all in favour of banning tacky ties and mandating vintage Ferragamo for all. As I am a socialist, I also support funding this. It can be done via a tax on tattoos, beer-logo tee shirts and trucker hats. Hey, we might be able to afford Hermes!

  26. This suit-and-tie stuff is interesting (though I’m not sure what it has to do with football).

    Conventional business attire has changed little since the bank manager wore a wing collar. The only significant difference between the ’50s businessman and the ’00s businessman is cut of suit, pattern on tie, and volume of aftershave.

    What does the panel think will be the next trend in formal work-dress for men? (no apology for being sexist about this. Women can wear more or less what they like)

  27. Formal work clothing for men is becoming less and less mandatory, which is frankly a response to creeping workoholism. Nobody can keep a suit looking crisp for twelve-hour work days. Instead, people who once would have worn suits are now wearing shirts and chinos or other work casual attire.

    In the future the suit will be the mark of the independently wealthy and the part-time worker. Such as politicians.

  28. Just for entertainment, I post this from today’s (10 June) Guardian, by Muslim commentator Faisal Bodi:

    “Just for the record, a red cross won’t be flapping out of my car during the World Cup. And that’s not only because the damned thing is too closely associated with the far right.

    The cross, and the three lions for that matter, are Christian symbols, adopted by the crusaders for a historical episode that not only brought immense suffering to Muslims and eastern Christians alike, but which created the jaundiced lens through which much of the west would view Islam down the centuries.

    I’m not saying I’ll be cheering for Iran or Saudi Arabia. I will be shouting for England. But like many British Muslims it’ll be without any of the paraphernalia that brings shame to my country.”

    Anyone else in favour of deporting him?

  29. No.

    He’s quite right. The flag and shield of the crusader Knights Templar carried the Cross of St George.

    Anyway, I’m backing Brazil. I used to live there. Should I be deported?

  30. I wonder if Faisal would be happy sporting the old Crescent in south eastern Europe where the forces of Islam spent a good deal of time in the 17th century trying to take over. Twice they got to Vienna.

    As to dear old Geroge’s flag being appropriated by the far right.. I presume he means the BNP. I am still wondering what the seating arrangements of a late 18th century French assemply have to do with what we label parties. The BNP have far more in common with the Communist Party, SWP and various hardline Islamacist groups than they do with the Conservatives, Labour or even the Lib Dems on their semi-sensible days. It seems more acceptable among sections of the chatterati to wear the emblems of Stalinist Russia whislt condemning those taking some modest pride in thier own country, its history and culture, warts and all, by showing the flag.

    Ho hum – history of the world

    Everyone was getting along nicely being nice to everyone else. Then the English turned up and stopped people being jolly.

    That should get me an A in GCSE.

    I like being English which is just as well. Clearly I don’t have the talent to be as exciting as a foreigner.

    Jack Target, why did God make so many foreigners? Over 99% of the world are foreign.

  31. I loved the old Tom Baker Doctor Who episode where they need someone to take charge of the united Earth forces and the Doctor, baiting the Brigadier, says, “How will we ever agree on someone to lead the forces? I mean, there’s you, there’s me, and the rest are out of the question. They’re all bloody foreigners.”

  32. Well, you obviously don’t pass Lord Tebbit’s cricket test… (Cranmer)

    No, I don’t, do I?

    But I fail to see why any Englishman should be required to support English teams, and to feel elation when they win, and despair when they lose.

    And England put up a pretty dismal yesterday.

    If anything, I’m rather glad to see England teams go out of any tournament, because it puts an end to all the media jingoistic flag-waving, and allows one to enjoy the thing for its own sake (if one enjoys it at all).

    My view is quite simple: may the best side win.

  33. idlex

    I tend to share your view. Or rather my preference is for the most sporting side. One time I supported Cameroon because their players were all part time, having full time jobs such as barbers and waiters. Others may think the term ‘amateur’ an insult but to me it denotes someone whod does it for love (amo, amas amat..).

    I don’t actually watch the football, just make mercy missions of food and drink deliveries to gangs of teenagers and the memsahib in the front room.

  34. Others may think the term ‘amateur’ an insult but to me it denotes someone whod does it for love (amo, amas amat..).

    It’s odd how ‘amateur’ has come to mean ‘incompetent’, and ‘professional’ has come to mean ‘competent’.

    And despite the fact that he’s paid handsomely, one of the things I like about the current World Footballer of the Year – Brazil’s Ronaldinho – is that he’s all smiles, and quite clearly loves the game.

    Ronaldinho almost certainly grew up kicking balls around on the dusty streets of some town in Brazil, and acquired his skill and love for the game in those days, and has somehow managed to retain both. In England it’s probably illegal to kick balls around on the streets. And the result is nobody develops either that kind of skill, or that kind of love.

  35. Not at all, I’m enquiring of Idlex if he would have been happy if Germany had, since, presumably, they would then have been ‘the best side’.

    Ethics and morality appear not to feature in Idlex’s utilitarian ‘survival of the bestest’.

  36. I might be in the minority these days but I am English (albeit my ancestors immigrating about a century ago). I am proud to be English and proud to belong to a community that wants to advance itself. Any council that tells me to pull my flag in or hide my affiliation to my country will be shown Articles 9/10/11 of the Human Rights Act.. oh hold on, they want to get rid of that this week.

    To the people who “don’t give a rats arse” as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

    or as John Reid says “Stop moaning”…

  37. No, I would not have been happy if Germany had won World War II. But I will be perfectly happy if Germany wins the 2006 World Cup.

    Why? Because football is a trivial game we play, for it is inconsequential who wins. But wars are serious matters, for their consequences are death, destruction, and subjection.

    The game of football is not a form of war. Nor is war a form of football game. Anyone who conflates the two both trivialises wars and exaggerates games.

  38. Football should be banned. It represents – and causes – much of what’s wrong with Britain today.

    Comments please!

  39. What is wrong with Britain?! And in what way does football represent and indeed cause this ‘wrongness’?

    Are we really to lay the blame for everything (including the hosepipe ban in Southeast England) at the feet of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney (and indeed Bobby Moore and Stanley Matthews before them)?

  40. This seems like the perfect place to drop in the Canadian Perspective: A Socialist’s Guide to the World Cup.

    As World Cup fever grips the globe, many progressives will be sighing at the prospect of another sporting spectacle distracting the “masses” from the pressing issues of the day — the classic “bread and circuses” argument. There is a tendency on the North American Left to disdain sport: its competitive nature, the corporatization of its grand events, its inherent masculinities and cultures of exclusion.

    Some of this critique is grounded in good sociology; some of it bears an irrational disdain for that in which one does not participate or enjoy. In many sports, but especially in “the beautiful game,” politics and the game have a symbiotic relationship. Politics can influence and be influenced by what happens on the field of play. The World Cup is no exception.

    My parents immigrated to Canada from Liverpool in the 1960s; growing up, soccer and socialism were the main topics of discussion in the Black household. Conversations at the dinner table moved seamlessly between football and politics, England’s chances in the World Cup and the NDP’s chances in the upcoming election.

    I only committed my life to socialism after being rejected as a professional soccer player (a brief stint with the English Premier League’s Watford FC is my footballing claim to fame).

    As I posted on my own blog, this is indeed a path to enlightenment shared by many a socialist. I myself was a libertarian until I was rejected by the Vancouver Voodoo.

  41. ‘Football should be banned. It represents – and causes – much of what’s wrong with Britain today’ (PaulD)

    No, football should be banned from televised play in the middle of the cricket season.

  42. idlex

    I recall hearing someone bemoaning the fact that Britain wasn’t going to win Wimbledon because our bright young things couldn’t play tennis at their local clubs because they were full of people playing tennis for fun!

    We were very fortunate because both our son and daughter could join local football clubs and be trained by local blokes who gave up their spare time after work to do so. Their attitude was amateur and their approach was outstandingly professional. I really do believe this was a very good educational experience for both of them. Why aren’t guys like this getting OBEs?

    (I helped out myself as barman for half time at matches but I am willing to forgo my gong for them).

    Incidentally we saw a lot of St. George’s flag and no doubt many attitudes were non-PC, but the proportion of ethnic minorities in a predominantly working class team was somewhat higher than the national average, and an Iranian chap won parent of the year twice running. So whilst I will never understand the off side rule I think, all things considered, football’s quite a civilised thing.

  43. Watford (raincoaster)

    I have fond romantic memories of dreary old Watford. It was on the street just outside Watford Tech that I got my first kiss from Gillian Woods, the skinny, blonde, denim-clad beauty who graced the Pre-Dip Art course.

    The spot on the pavement there is marked by a circle with a central golden star. Or at least, it is in my mind’s eye.

  44. Jack,

    I think that there’s definitely a place for football and tennis training. But I remember seeing a documentary about Diego Maradona, that showed the little house where his parents lived, and the yard outside, and the wall against which he spent hours kicking balls. I suspect that it is in such dusty yards that prodigious skills are first developed, and professional training merely encourages and perfects it.

  45. Similar climb down in South Tyneside after a flurry of emails between myself and Council Leader Paul Waggott, a hastily arranged photoshoot of his Deputy Leader raising the flag.
    “I instructed Council officers to raise the flag yesterday” said maggot, yeah, likely story says I. It was just prior to England’s opening match that the flag eventually appeared above the Town Hall.

  46. Thanks for that blog link, Jack. I found on it the following comment:

      It’s strange to recall, but I was delighted at the launch of The Independent in 1986. Here, I thought, would be a newspaper of broadly liberal values but also critical and independent judgement. Mainly on the strength of good coverage of business and finance, it remained my newspaper of choice till only about five years ago. In its news and comment sections, it has become in the main (there have always been exceptional individual writers such as Peter Jenkins or Diane Coyle) a crudely exhortatory and manipulative newspaper, appealing (if its letters page is any guide, which it may not be) disproportionately to misanthropes and cranks.

    Somehow or other that ‘crudely exhortatory and manipulative newspaper’ remark rather summed things up for this Independent reader. It was once indeed ‘broadly liberal’, but no more.

    Every few years, I get tired of whatever newspaper I’m reading. Can anyone recommend any ‘broadly liberal’ newspaper? Is there one? This is probably the wrong place to ask, however.

  47. idlex

    Well I would say this wouldn’t I but I find more liberalism in a single copy of the Telegraph or Times than in a whole shed load of Independents or Guardians. I know Murdoch is someone who Satan threatens recalcitrant demons with but you get some pretty good writers in the Times. Boris writes for other T of course.

  48. I can’t read the Guardian or the Independent, I find them incredibly wishy washy and dreary. There is the odd good article in the Guardian, usually in the sports section mind.

  49. Idlex: May I suggest The Sun? The content may not be exactly to your taste but the headline-writers are still the best in the world.

    What other downmarket tabloid could get away with Latin on its front page? I remember seeing a copy on Christmas Eve after Princess Anne had reportedly been snotty towards some well-wishers who pressed posies into her hand as she left church. This was the same year as HM’s “annus horribilis”

    The front page headline? ANNE IS HORRIBILIS. Sheer genius. The whole business summed up in three words.

    Having said that, one thing remains a mystery to me. Remember Prince Harry and his fancy dress with Swastika? Early editions had the delicious headline “Hitler Youth” against his picture. This was changed to something dreary like “Swastika Harry” later on. Why?

    I speak not out of political opinion but in praise of a superb headline.

  50. when you’re communting on a hot, busy train on the morning after and have a headache the Sun is about the best value product you can buy (other than a large cold bottle of mineral water that is).

    I didn’t see what all the fuss was about with Prince Harry, surely he was dressed as a German soldier in period early 1940’s desert uniform, not as a ‘nazi’.

  51. Steven: I don’t think anyone was that bothered about Harry’s fancy dress – apart from his advisors the next morning.

  52. Thanks all, for newspaper advice.

    I think I’d really like to design my own newspaper. It wouldn’t have much news beyond the essential (no rapes, murders, royalty, celebrities, or gossip), and almost zero sport, and lots of long opinion pieces, and in-depth reports. And page 3 would carry pictures of Bettany Hughes. And I would write the editorials.

  53. How funny that after reading about the flag issue this morning I see flags (American)everywhere at lunchtime. Back in the office and a quick glance at the calendar…it’s Flag Day!

    I still don’t understand why it would be an issue for the English to display England’s flag. Culture confusion?

  54. I like that you can now buy flags with ‘ENGLAND’ written across them, incase you have a hard time recognising the flag you’re looking at.

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