If the BNP were putting these flags up across the borough Thurrock Council would have ordered them down.
|Flags in the Free city of Danzig in the 1930s which were designed to intimidate the Jewish population.|
An elderly lady who I have known for many years said to me at the weekend: "Why are all those flags flying in Grays, this is not good, the last time I saw something like that was when I was a young child." I told her not to worry, it was just a political party flexing its muscles. She looked at me in that quizzical way which people often do when they have experienced much in their long lives.
After I left her I thought about what she said and went down to Grays to take a look. I was shocked to see approximately 16 England and Union Jack flags flying from almost every lamp post in the heart of the town, and I immediately understood her fears.
She came to Britain on the Kindertransport, her parents were both German and lived in the Free City of Danzig. (now Gdańsk in Poland). In 1933, the City's government was taken over by the local Nazi Party who expressed their patriotism to a greater Reich by hanging flags and pasting up offensive posters all over the city.
Eventually fearing the worst her father sent her to stay with an aunt in Aachen near the German-Dutch border. After Kristallnacht it was decided to send her and a cousin to Great Britain. She was lucky to be on one of the last ships to leave a Dutch port before the country was occupied. She never saw her parents or Aunt again. They perished in the Holocaust.
She loves this country greatly. Why wouldn't she? It helped save her young life. She is far more patriotic than I. And when I was younger and more naïve she used to tell me off when I turned up my nose at the Union Jack because of its association with British imperialism.
She understands better than most the damage patriotic displays can do when they get in the wrong hands. Thurrock is a multi racial society. Like it or not we have people living here who have come from throughout the UK and the four corners of the world. I cannot help thinking those who put those flags up in Grays and elsewhere in the borough were sticking a finger up at those people.
This was basically what the Nazi Party in Danzig were doing in the 1930s. The only real difference being their flags were aimed at the city's Jewish population and we all know where that led ...
Of course the Union flag should be displayed on Armistice day and on other ceremonial occasions. And I well understand why England supporters may wish to hoist their flag when their national team is playing, but do we really want these emblems being used as a political weapon? I hope not.
If it had been the BNP putting these flags up across the borough Thurrock Council would have ordered them to be taken down. I do not believe for a moment the overwhelming majority of Thurrock residents who voted for Ukip are bigots or racists, but with the election of Paul Nuttall the party does seem to be moving to the far right. I ask how would they feel if every time they turned a corner in one of Thurrock's towns they saw a flag flying which was clearly aimed at them, and not in a nice way.
Let us learn from history and leave such patriotic mockery where it belongs, in the past. I am not on principle against flying national flags, but if we do let them reflect the true diversity of the people who have made their homes in our borough.
I think it is shocking that the flying of the national flag should be seen as offensive. That is the kind of PC bending over and lubing-up that has the EU full of Muslim Jihadists and economic migrants with zero respect for the countries and cultures they are illegally entering. I especially find it astonishing when we here in Ireland have had the Union Jack used as a weapon and shoved in our faces all our lives and it is not considered offensive by anyone in the UK that I hear of that this is on going to this very day. By people, some of whom would argue, amazingly, that they are 'Irish' no less. Confusing to say the least.ReplyDelete
Welcome to the North of Ireland in the weeks preceding and afterwards to celebrate the glorious 12th by Loyalists. I have always believed the excessive use of flags is a sure sign of insecurity.ReplyDelete
"The kind of PC bending over and lubing up that has the EU full of Muslim Jihadists and economic migrants with zero respect for the countries and cultures they are illegally entering"
Is this meant to be a UKIP PPB?
I am not on principle against flying national flags, but if we do let them reflect the true diversity of the people who have made their homes in our borough.ReplyDelete
Because lets face it Mick, they aint ever gonna be British right? No matter what they say, whitey knows best.
Ye can't eat flegs Larry.ReplyDelete
I love the Pensive Quill but is this really a full post about English people, flying English flags in England?ReplyDelete
what do you mean by "full" post?
AM - I just meant that it seemed a bit of stretch by the author to turn this into several paragraphs in my humble opinion - that's all.ReplyDelete
I liked the piece and found his exchange with the foreign woman good reading. I thought you felt he had cut it short and had not finished and that was what made it not "full".
AM - that is the beauty of your site, lots of different opinions and different posts appeal to different people - this is why I love the Pensive Quill - hope you and your family have a great Christmas.ReplyDelete
True, the flegs are no use on the menu, but they are good for burying people in. About the only occasion I enjoy seeing the butchers apron in use. The other being when their 'best in the world' football, cricket or rugby teams are getting a jolly good humiliation. Guaranteed titillation for the rest of us as a result of their endless pompous expectation. Though I am astounded for all their flagrant violation of international boundaries and national borders with their military they are so sensitive flying their own flag at home. The Polish appear to be under little illusion about foreigners sensitivities.