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Warwick university has banned England flags
May 23, 2002 4:01 AM   Subscribe

Warwick university has banned England flags from its campus for the duration of the world cup. Does this tell us anything about tolerance, nationalism and patriotism in a multi cultural society?
posted by Fat Buddha (25 comments total)

 
As an employee of an English university I'd like to say this is the most stupid thing I've ever heard in my life. It isn't though. In fact it is far from being the most stupid thing I've heard this week.
posted by vbfg at 4:18 AM on May 23, 2002


...because if you get rid of the flags, the ugly nationalistic side of people that emerges during the World Cup will just disappear, right?
posted by creeky at 4:18 AM on May 23, 2002


well certainly nationalistic......
posted by johnnyboy at 4:32 AM on May 23, 2002


This would seem to me to be a clear breech of Article 10 of the
European Convention on Human Rights
which is now part of UK law via the Human Rights Act. I hope someone has the sense to take the university to the cleaners...
posted by prentiz at 4:34 AM on May 23, 2002


Obviously this is stupid. Just an observation though: when I first got to university I was shocked that anyone would want to have an England flag hanging in their room. "What a fascist!" I thought. But I now realise that this is more a class thing than anything else - my attitude to the display of the flag is basically a snobbish one. I didn't find it that offensive - though I was certainly disconcerted - it just seemed vulgar.

Anyway, the general trend here is that the kind of things that get prohibited at university are the things that liberal high-minded people find distasteful - not that that's a good reason to ban them. But I suppose that if they have to be illiberal about something, I'd rather it were flags than sex. University is still better than the real world on the whole.
posted by Gaz at 4:38 AM on May 23, 2002


I went to Warwick it was always up to stuff like this. I remember some friends of mine got disciplined for sniffing poppers during an student election campaign, even though poppers are perfectly legal.
posted by Summer at 4:41 AM on May 23, 2002


I am a bit snobbish on the subject of flags myself, but if people want to fly them that's ok. I cannot see how it detracts from ones enjoyment of watching the the game at home, on the telly, if you don't have one though.
posted by Fat Buddha at 4:44 AM on May 23, 2002


By England flag do you mean the National flag of Great Britain? I find it hard to believe that they could get away with that if it is the case. Why not ban all flags?

What is a popper?
posted by a3matrix at 4:50 AM on May 23, 2002


England is not Great Britain.

A popper is amyl nitrate.
posted by pracowity at 4:54 AM on May 23, 2002


The England flag is like this. The reason that some people find it more objectionable than the Union Jack is that its connotations are more nationalistic than patriotic; and since England does not exist as a political entity it is somewhat political to display the flag, other than in supporting England's sporting teams.
posted by Gaz at 4:58 AM on May 23, 2002


English Flag
British Flag
posted by Frasermoo at 5:06 AM on May 23, 2002


oops I have compeletely ballsed that up. let's try again -

English Flag
Welsh Flag
Scottish Flag
British Flag
posted by Frasermoo at 5:10 AM on May 23, 2002


Hmmm...... As a recent, yet increasingly rabid English football fan (despite being a Yank) when I see the red and white flag I immediately think "footie" - so I suppose I understand the intent, even if it sounds ridiculous - That being said, if amyl nitrate is legal, perhaps the college youth of England do need a bit of reigning in....
posted by jalexei at 5:21 AM on May 23, 2002


I've actually just read the story properly, and it seems what the university is saying is that no national flags of any country should be flown before or after the World Cup. The flags of teams that qualify, including England, can be displayed during the competition. You have to remember that Warwick has a large number of foreign students, and it seems they don't want confrontation on the campus. Which, considering the number of countries who hate each other with a passion at the moment, seems reasonable to me.
posted by Summer at 5:38 AM on May 23, 2002


Wow, I've finally seen a GIF of the Union Jack that understands there's a right way up and a wrong way down.
posted by vbfg at 5:46 AM on May 23, 2002


I went to warwick and they were always as petty as this.
posted by Spoon at 6:55 AM on May 23, 2002


it has partly relented by allowing flags to be displayed during the competition - but only those of teams that qualify.

Looks like the St. George won't be flying then.
posted by dydecker at 7:08 AM on May 23, 2002


Too weird. I clicked on the link, and the news story wasn't there -- just the sidebar and banner.
posted by alumshubby at 7:28 AM on May 23, 2002


It's time to reclaim the flag of St. George (and the Union Flag) from the fascists (not to mention Stone Island clothing). Why do we allow Nazis to 'own' flags which should represent the opposite of their views? See a Union Flag on a skinhead and it means trouble, see it next to a Brazillian flag and it means fun.
posted by niceness at 8:20 AM on May 23, 2002


Well it's true that no national flag should be associated with fascism. But the upside is that we get to live in a society that isn't obsessed with flag-waving. I suppose it depends on whether American-style patriotism is a good thing, because Britain certainly could move in that direction. I'd rather not though.
posted by Gaz at 8:43 AM on May 23, 2002


it has partly relented by allowing flags to be displayed during the competition - but only those of teams that qualify.

Looks like the St. George won't be flying then.


Sorry, should have said 'have qualified'. Which England has.
posted by Summer at 10:00 AM on May 23, 2002


I always associate the 'flagpole in the garden' with retired brigadiers who populate the Torygraph's letters page, but apparently you'll have entire streets of flagpole-d houses in the US. Which strikes me as a bit creepy.

Anyway, whoever made this decision has been exposed to the ridicule he or she deserves. And I'd like to see the university try and discipline someone with the saltire, just because Scotland didn't qualify. (The international students around London during the last world cup were flag-happy; with the emphasis on 'happy'.)
posted by riviera at 11:29 AM on May 23, 2002


I find the English flag offensive. Especially when it's waved as the flag of racists and bigots. But that doesn't mean it should be banned. It makes the tossers easier to pick out and avoid.
posted by robcorr at 8:20 AM on May 24, 2002


I just got this message from someone at the university in question, and it seems appropriate to share:
The comments about The University of Warwick banning flags on your weblog are wrong

Please tell your posters that they should not believe all you read in the newspapers. The Daily Mail (A UK newspaper which started this story) for instance could not even get my name right! -the University is actually actively encouraging students to put out their flags during the world cup and their are many university posters around the campus saying this. All we asked was that they wait until the world cup starts, which of course it has now begun the England team are now on site, and to take them down when the world cup is over. Out of our 18,000 students only 6 refused to wait and refused to take their flags and bunting down until the World cup campaign had started which of course it has now with England arriving in Korea. IF those 6 want to be unco-oparative that's sad but fine - we are leaving them to
it.

As for non externally visible flags they can have them up in their rooms whenever they like - there have never been restrictions on this. We restrict external flags to special occasions such as Royal events etc.

The University has no problem with UK flags - if you look at the University's home page www.warwick.ac.uk You will even see a link to the world cup stuff and a St George's cross and a history of the flag so we clearly do not believe in that politically correct nonsense about the flags upsetting other nationalities or being racist.

Peter Dunn
Press Officer
University of Warwick
posted by mathowie at 9:16 AM on May 24, 2002


For the record, this is from a poster downstairs in my halls of residence.

"Mindful of the interest and the enthusiasm which will accompany the tournament, and the desire of residents to support their respective National teams, the University has determined that for the period of the tournament (May 31st - June 30th)

THE NATIONAL FLAGS OF THOSE COUNTRIES PARTICIPATING IN THE TOURNAMENT MAY BE DISPLAYED IN THE WINDOWS OF INDIVIDUAL ROOMS."

Having not read the papers or Metafi for a while, my recation was, what the fuck? Pointless crap, waste of ink.
posted by laukf at 7:51 PM on May 24, 2002


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