The Corner

Whatever Happened to “Never Surrender”

If I watch 10 seconds of the World Cup, that will be 9 more than last time.  But its imminence has stoked a controversy about patriotism in Great Britain, where elites — often intimidated by or pandering to Islam and its radical element – are ordering people not to fly or otherwise display the flag of England and its (evidently) dread Cross of St. George.

This YNET news report is typical of stories making the rounds:

Following warnings by extremist Islamic group al-Muhajiroun, in which the group said that the red cross in the England flag symbolizes the ‘blood thirsty crusaders’ and the occupation of Muslims, some of the largest companies in England have ordered their workers not to wave the flags.  The flag has recently appeared in England on everything from bikinis to cars, and sold in endless versions in stores.  But the Islamic protest forced some corporations, such as cable companies NTL, and even the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Agency to ban the flag in every form due to fears from reactions of Muslims.  The Sun tabloid newspaper has in recent days launched a campaign to bring back the flag, and has published a blacklist of companies preventing their workers from expressing their patriotism at work.  The Sun said that a large pub network has banned drinkers from entering with symbols of the national team.  The hero of the day is a two year-old toddler, who was thrown out with his parents from Leicester, because he wore the England team’s uniform.

The Sun’s own reporting is similar:

Killjoys at cable giant NTL are among the latest party-poopers — ordering van drivers and subcontractors to tear down their flags in case they offend Muslims. One shocked driver said: “If we’re seen with any flags on our vans we’ll be given a written warning.” The company insisted: “We work in many multicultural areas and in different countries within Britain so we want to maintain a professional image and a sense of impartiality.” Among others to be hit by a flag ban are:

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Bosses claim St George crosses pose a health and safety risk — because the flags might get caught in the wind and fly on to a runway.TAXI DRIVERS in Blackpool — also banned from wearing England shirts in case they upset foreign visitors.CABBIES in Cheltenham, Gloucs, who have been threatened with having licences revoked. The council claims flags are dangerous since they could fall off — a view now backed by Hampshire Police. They want a blitz on drivers flying “unsafe” flags, claiming they could frighten horses and strike pedestrians.FIREMEN in Barking, East London — barred from hoisting the flag at their station. The ruling was imposed despite Barking Mosque Secretary Ashfaq Siddique declaring: “We’re not offended — it’s a national flag!”

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