St George's flag rejected in Somerset over fears it will offend Muslims
by RICHARD SAYERS
The Lowdown: A council has decided not fly the flag of St George, England's patron saint, over concerns that it would offend the 16 Muslims living in the town.
Eleanor Jackson, a university lecturer in Radstock, Somerset, said that the flag might be offensive because it was also flown during the Crusades 1,000 years ago.
How did this come about?
Reportedly, a council meeting was being held to try and decide what type of flag should be flown on the civic flagpole (which has been recently fixed up) in a town of just over 5,000 residents.
Jackson piped up: 'My big problem is that it is offensive to some Muslims, but even more so that it has been hijacked by the far right. My thoughts are we ought to drop it [sic] for 20 years.
What has the council said?
Talking to the press, the council chair Lesley Mansell said: 'We were presented a list of every flag we can fly as a local authority but the council agreed that we did not want to fly all of them and simply wanted to purchase our own Union Jack.
'The statement made by one councillor regarding the St George's flag was not really taken into consideration.'
What was the Muslim response?
Apparently local Muslims said that the concern raised was 'oversensitive', and the Muslim Council of Britain said: 'St George needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred.' We're not sure when it has been a symbol of hatred, but then what do we know?
What flag was decided upon?
The council eventually decided to buy a Union flag (the normal red, white and blue arrangement) to fly on Armistice Day, as well as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) for appropriate days, and an In Bloom flag to celebrate the local gardening contest.
Political Beef Verdict:
To raise this concern was a mark of what must be the near-insanity of this university lecturer. Such an incredible level of hypersensitivity does nobody any favours, least of all Muslims, many of whom would consider themselves British or English.
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