Two-Faced Flags 158


In my 55 years of life, I had never until yesterday seen a flag which was a saltire on one side and a union jack on the other. Yet last night thousands of them were distributed free at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. I have been told they are being given out at the swimming today, and possibly at other venues too.

Such flags do not normally exist. They had to be specially commissioned, and somebody had to pay for them. Who paid for them? Is it public money?

There is no doubt why these unique flags were commissioned, and why they are being given out free at considerable expense. It is to provide TV images of Scotland combined in the union, and to make sure that Scottish medals are greeted with media images of union jacks being waved with the saltire.

In the context of the referendum, only a hardened liar could claim that these unique flags were commissioned without a view to the campaign. This is enormous hypocrisy by the unionists, who have been bombarding the media for weeks with warnings to Yes supporters not to “politicise” the Commonwealth Games.

The BBC informs us that “political flags” are not allowed inside games venues. So saltires with a Yes will be confiscated. The BBC report states:

Well hold on, some flags will not be allowed to fly. Political flags.

Both sides of the independence debate have agreed not to use Glasgow 2014 for political gain anyway.

But even if you wanted to, well, it’s against the rules.

Glasgow 2014 Venue Regulation 6.18 states that no flags are allowed to enter a venue – or the vicinity of any Games venue – if they are normally associated with causes, affiliations or organisations.

Nobody can possibly argue that, at this time, a Union Jack combined with a Saltire is not an image strongly associated with a cause or association. So the rules are being quite deliberately broken, and somebody is funding that breach and doing it on a massive scale. It is vital that we know: who is paying for these flags?

Actually I am not sure why union jacks are allowed in at all. The rules are very clear. If you try to take in a Palestinian flag or a Dutch flag it will be confiscated. Again, to quote the BBC:

You are not allowed, however, to bring the flag of a country not competing in the Games

The United Kingdom is not competing in the Games. So there is a very respectable argument that union jacks should not be allowed in at all.

What is absolutely certain is that the two-faced union jack and saltire flags are very strongly associated with a political cause or affiliation. If they are allowed in, then Yes saltires should be allowed in too.


158 thoughts on “Two-Faced Flags

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  • Muscleguy

    @Habbabkuk

    Up here in Scotlandshire the BBC indents itself on TV and Radio as BBC Scotland. Also we pay our license fees too. Polls show at least 40% of us are Yes supporters. Our national broadcaster is treating us like minority rebel insurgents. An increasing number of Scots are refusing to pay the license fee. I would but my wife won’t let me.

    BBC Scotland has been proven to be biased and found to be so by the Trust wrt an Irish minister whose views they grossly misrepresented. They have still not said sorry. The academic study that found their referendum coverage to be biased has NEVER been reported by the BBC. Instead a middle manager complained to the academic’s Vic Chancellor (over the head of his Dean). Shooting the messenger and pretending the message doesn’t exist.

    I haven’t watched a BBC news program for about 18months as it is not good for my blood pressure.

    Unless you live here in Scotland you have no idea how bad they are.

  • Davie Park

    It may be of interest to your readers to know that Saltires were banned from the London Olympics.

  • fred

    “It may be of interest to your readers to know that Saltires were banned from the London Olympics.”

    As was the Cross of St George.

    International Olympic rules say you cant fly flags of countries not competing over the stadium.

    The ban did not apply to fans taking their own flags to wave.

    The worrying thing is that the Scottish government actually kicked up a big fuss about it and got an exception made for themselves. Not just Nationalist but extremist.

  • Steve

    (Sorry, I haven’t read all the comments – there’s a lot now – so if I am just saying something that’s been said before I apologise.)

    There’s a couple of points about this whole issue. First of all we (Scots) are not allowed to display our flag if it includes a personally held belief based on our nationalism. To me that’s just one step away from banning us from displaying our own flag all-together. It’s that fine a line. After all, what is the Saltaire if it’s not an expression of our sense of nationalism?

    Also, the main thing that annoyed me about the photos of the Saltaire being confiscated was that sat right next to the person who was ejected from the hall were two other people wearing Union Flag T-shirts. What were they trying to say?

    They obviously had a view otherwise why would they wear a Union Flag shirt at a national sporting competition? And I’m sure that view was not simply that they ‘liked the colours’. In other words they were making some sort of a statement…And that, my friends, is POLITICS.

    ANY Union Flag displayed in Scotland IS making a political statement. It is saying something – it’s saying ‘This place is part of Britain’ or ‘We (who are displaying this flag) prefer to think of ourselves as British rather than Scottish’ or ‘We pledge our allegiance to the Queen’ or whatever…

    A flag does not need words on it to be political – a flag is INHERENTLY political. That’s the whole point of flags.

    SO, to conclude, if a Saltaire bearing the word ‘Yes’ is deemed unacceptable because it’s ‘political’ and then those authorities do not apply the same rule to a Union Flag then they are showing a political preference. Thier preference is for the Union.

  • Willie

    If the BBC and others are breaking the rules then it its maybe time for a demonstration about BBC bias.

    Let the world see what goes on. Visitors would be most interested too.

  • fred

    @Willie

    That is easy. Just stop watching the BBC.

    People waving placards won’t make any difference, dropping rating figures will.

    Every thread on this blog seems to be full of people whinging about the BBC, they must spend hours glued to their TVs watching BBC and the rest of their time whinging about it.

    Just don’t watch it, I don’t.

  • fred

    @Steve

    You must remember that the Saltire belongs to all Scots not just the Nationalists. It isn’t right for the fanatics to hijack it for themselves.

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