Rosena Allin-Khan claims fewer fans flew St George’s Cross at World Cup due to ‘far-right ideology’

July 20th, 20189:30 pm @

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Labour shadow sport minister Rosena Allin-Khan claims fewer England fans flew St George’s Cross at this World Cup due to ‘far-right ideology’ (despite nation cheering team into semi-final)

  • Allin-Khan said St George’s Cross is synonymous with far-Right ideology
  • She said flags were far more popular in the World Cups from 2000-2010 
  • Her comments attracted angry comments and contradict recent study 

Vanessa Allen for the Daily Mail

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Shadow sports minister Rosena Allin-Khan, who has claimed some people were reluctant to fly the St George’s Cross during this year's World Cup

Shadow sports minister Rosena Allin-Khan, who has claimed some people were reluctant to fly the St George’s Cross during this year’s World Cup

England’s flag of St George has become tainted by ‘far-Right ideology’ and Brexit, a Labour MP said yesterday.

Shadow sports minister Rosena Allin-Khan claimed some people were reluctant to fly the St George’s Cross during the football World Cup because of its perceived associations.

Her comments drew an angry reaction on social media, and appeared to contradict a recent academic study which found pride in the England flag had risen.

Dr Allin-Khan told Westminster’s The House magazine: ‘I think that many people feel that flying a St George’s Cross is synonymous with far-Right ideology and that sometimes prevents them from doing so because they don’t want to be perceived as such.

‘During previous World Cups between 2000 and 2010 you could walk 20 metres and see flags in windows, flags on cars, flags on shops.

‘Despite more sprouting up as the tournament went on, there’s been a noticeable difference.

‘I think there is a reluctance to do so because shops may not want to feel they’re not being welcoming to members of the community, and perhaps Brexit has a part to play in that.’

England fans waving their flags in the stands as their team played Costa Rica in June during the World Cup

England fans waving their flags in the stands as their team played Costa Rica in June during the World Cup

Far-Right ideology? An England supporter waves a little St George's Cross flag in Trafalgar Square, London

Far-Right ideology? An England supporter waves a little St George’s Cross flag in Trafalgar Square, London

Fans celebrate England's win over Sweden in the World Cup this year

Fans celebrate England’s win over Sweden in the World Cup this year

An enthusiastic England fan cheers on her team in the World Cup quarter-final this year while draped in an enormous St George's Cross flag

An enthusiastic England fan cheers on her team in the World Cup quarter-final this year while draped in an enormous St George’s Cross flag

Proud display: Fans wave their flags at a street party in Peterborough during the semi-final of the World Cup this year

Proud display: Fans wave their flags at a street party in Peterborough during the semi-final of the World Cup this year

Dr Allin-Khan’s comments could rile the Labour leadership, which had called for a bank holiday if the England team won the World Cup final, and for Britain to host the tournament in 2030.

They were also met by a barrage of criticism from social media users.

Alexander Hall tweeted: ‘You should have come round North Birmingham. Loads of St George flags flying from windows and cars. Typical London Labour bubble MP turning her nose up at patriotism’.

Meanwhile, Fiona Mellersh wrote: ‘Hilarious. The whole country was festooned with the England flag. And England bunting’.

Another Twitter user responded to her comments: ‘Didn’t she see the block of flats where EVERY flat had a St. George’s flag in London! Labour really knock everything patriotic’.

However, it is not the first time she has discussed the flying of the England flag.

A panoramic view of the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, which has been covered in hundreds of St George's Cross flags

A panoramic view of the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south east London, which was covered in hundreds of St George’s Cross flags for the World Cup this year

The Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south east London, where residents attracted attention for their eye-catching display of St George's Cross flags this year

The Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south east London, where residents attracted attention for their eye-catching display of St George’s Cross flags this year

She wrote in Daily Mirror earlier this month: ‘Compare the hype of the 2006 World Cup to 2018, what’s missing? England flags.

‘In 2006, I remember going into shops, bars, schools – you couldn’t walk 20 metres without seeing an England flag.

‘Over the years, flying the flag has become more and more synonymous with the far-right – but why should they have any more right to fly the St George’s Cross than you or I?

‘The English flag has become associated with the national front, the EDL and other far right groups- it frustrates me.

‘It frustrates me because we have allowed this to happen’.

In 2014, Emily Thornberry was forced to resign from Ed Miliband’s front bench after she appeared to mock a terrace house which had been festooned with three England flags.

The then shadow attorney general’s tweet led to an immediate backlash from the public and even members of her own party, who accused her of being ‘derogatory and dismissive’ of people flying the national flag.

A recent academic study found pride in the England flag had risen

A recent academic study found pride in the England flag had risen

It took John Jupp 30 minutes to get the enormous 1,250 sq ft flag stretched out across the front of his home with the help of 15 friends on Sunday, June 10

It took John Jupp 30 minutes to get this enormous 1,250 sq ft flag stretched out across the front of his home with the help of 15 friends on Sunday, June 10

Top to bottom: This resident in Burnage, Manchester, created an impressive display of St George's Cross flags

Top to bottom: This resident in Burnage, Manchester, created an impressive display of St George’s Cross flags

Patriotic: Residents of the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south east London, who became well-known during this year's World Cup for their abundant display of St George's Cross flags

Patriotic: Residents of the Kirby Estate in Bermondsey, south east London, who became well-known during this year’s World Cup for their abundant display of St George’s Cross flags

An England supporter in Southampton did not hold back in showing his support for the team during this year's World Cup, decking every inch of his home in St George's Cross flags

An England supporter in Southampton did not hold back in showing his support for the team during this year’s World Cup, decking every inch of his home in St George’s Cross flags

Bought the t-shirt: Tony Baddams outside his heavily-decorated home in Southampton this year

Bought the t-shirt: Tony Baddams outside his heavily-decorated home in Southampton this year

She Thornberry told the Daily Telegraph at the time that she found the image, taken in Rochester, ‘remarkable’ because she had never seen a house ‘completely covered in flags before’.

Meanwhile, a Winchester University study has found a surge in support for both the England team and the flag.

A YouGov poll of 20,000 adults found a significant increase in the number of people who said they were ‘very proud’ to be English, from 36 percent to 40 percent. 

Come on England! A fan uses his whole wingspan to wave a St George's Cross flag during England's semi-final match against Croatia

Come on England! A fan uses his whole wingspan to wave a St George’s Cross flag during England’s semi-final match against Croatia

An eight-storey building in Hove, East Sussex, covered in a giant St George's Cross during the World Cup

An eight-storey building in Hove, East Sussex, covered in a giant St George’s Cross during the World Cup

Blending in: This England supporter opted for a full-body St George's Cross flag theme at the Rugby World Cup in 2003

Blending in: This England supporter opted for a full-body St George’s Cross flag theme at the Rugby World Cup in 2003


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