This year, with the massive occasion of the Queen’s Jubilee and now the upcoming Olympics we are inundated with images of the British flag. They are EVERYWHERE, right? Weather you’re doing a bit of shopping, are in a restaurant or walking down your street, there is bunting, flags or Brit memorabilia of some sort somewhere in your eye line. It’s not just accepted it’s expected. It’s patriotic.
This wasn’t always the case though.
My partner (Rob) works in an independent designer menswear shop where they sell top British brand Barbour. Barbour brought out a jacket lined with the british flag. This jacket made a statement – how the brand is proud to be British, and after being around since 1894, Barbour’s classic wax jackets are still manufactured by hand in South Shields.
Rob got to designing a window display, with the jacket being the centrepiece, behind it he had the union jack flag. It was merely days, before somebody came into the shop questioning why there was a British flag displayed so prominently, it was deemed this could be offensive to other people in the city who were not British. Another few days later, there were accusations that the shops staff were ‘nationalist’ and another person asked if staff members were part of the BNP!
The window display was taken down. It seems two years ago it was apparently ‘offensive’ to display a Union Jack, now if your not brandishing your red, white and blues at every opportunity you’re not being supportive to your country.
Let’s be honest, you just can’t win. Can you?