Ever since I was a Councillor in Havering, elected in 1990, I have campaigned for greater pride in and appreciation of our magnificent flag, the Union Jack, also known as the Union Flag.
For, as well as its aesthetic beauty, our flag represents the union of four nations which, together, established the greatest empire the world has ever known and to this day is one of the world’s most prosperous, innovative and dynamic nations, with its freedom and sovereignty now fully restored.
It always seemed absurd to me the extent to which our country has been reserved and circumspect in flying our flag. That’s why in the year 2000, I proposed a motion at a Full Council Meeting of Havering Council, calling for the Union Jack to be flown every day, throughout the year. Sadly, Labour and their Residents Association allies voted my motion down, but the outcry across Havering was so huge that the then Labour-led Council was forced to raise the Union Jack above our Town Hall, where it has remained ever since.
When I became an M.P., I soon called for the Union Jack to be flown from the Victoria Tower all year round, not just on days the Houses of Parliament was sitting. It took nine long years to persuade the powers that be in Parliament to change the tradition to allow the flag to fly all the time. Eventually, I won the battle and in 2010, the Union Jack was raised above the Victoria Tower and there it has remained ever since!
When you look up at our red, white and blue flag flying proudly above the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ today, it is hard to imagine that eleven years ago, one of the most recognisable public buildings in the world did not allow our national flag did to fly for most of the year. An empty flag pole is not a sight you will see today!
So, now its up to all of us to do the same. If in America, where the Stars and Stripes adorn most buildings of any significance and often can be found on the average American’s lawn, why can’t we do the same and at the very least, fly theflag on all our public buildings, including outside schools.
Fortunately we now have a Government that takes the importance of this seriously, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport recently issuing guidance that the flag be flown on U.K. Government buildings every day. What a fantastic result!
That means the Union Jack should be flown on Government Departments, Town Halls, Civic Centres and other public buildings all the time.
We should not stop there. My next aim is for every school across the nation to fly the flag outside their school building and in their assembly halls, to give the next generation pride in our nation and promote patriotism as a way of bringing everyone together, as part of one great British family!
The left wing, naturally oppose this. How sad it was to see recently protests outside of Pimlico Academy, a secondary school, against a number of changes the school was making, including the placement of a Union Flag outside of the building. Apparently, the school leadership gave into the demands and the flag will be removed.
What an insult to all those who have fought and died for our freedom, under that flag. Those responsible should be ashamed.
We cannot allow a leftist mob to bully us into not flying our national flag. It is time for it to be made law that all schools should fly the Union Jack throughout the year and give a different pupil the honour of raising the flag of the start of each school day.
Patriotism and love of country is something that must unite all British people and there could be nothing more important than to instil these ideals with the next generation of young Britons.