If the Union Jack ever has to be revised, this is the design I would prefer. I call it the “Ummah Jack”, and it accurately reflects the demographic makeup of modern Britain:
Unfortunately, this sort of thing is not representative of the zeitgeist. A young fellow named Nigel Turner has proposed a new Union Jack that includes new design elements to make it — you guessed it — more multicultural:
Rather than black, shouldn’t those new stripes be brown? And what about yellow? Will newcomers from China feel slighted?
And how about beige? My ethnicity’s skin tone is not represented in this flag — I’m offended and feel excluded on behalf of Englishmen of pallor.
Not to mention Martian immigrants, who may feel affronted by the complete lack of green in the design.
Here’s the story as reported by the Beeb:
Rebranding Puts Black Marks Against UK Flag
Britain’s national flag — the union jack — has been given the makeover treatment, in the hope of reflecting a more modern society.
It’s become the marketing executive’s remedy for any organisation’s ills. From BT to BP, the Labour Party to the Lottery, hardly a business or institution has escaped the rebranding bug.
Now moves are afoot to redesign that most sacred of British hallmarks — the union flag.
A campaign is being launched to modernise the red, white and blue flag by adding a touch of black to reflect multicultural Britain in the 21st Century.
The proposed new flag (see above) is the work of Nigel Turner, an enthusiastic fan of the UK’s transformation into a multiracial society over the past 50 years.
Mr Turner, who has called his campaign Reflag, believes his plan would reclaim the union jack from its negative associations, and silence that old skinhead chant: “There ain’t no black in the union jack.”
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“If I flew the union jack from a flagpole in my garden, many people would see it as a racist statement,” he says.
“I’m a glass half-full, rather than half-empty sort of person. It’s time we made a positive statement about the progression of a multicultural and multiracial society.”
Mr Turner, 46, who is white, hopes to spark a debate on the flag. He would like to see a new design replace the current union jack for the flag’s 400th anniversary in 2006.
“The proposed design does not mean throwing out all that has gone before, and it is clearly recognisable as the flag of the UK without saying something new.”
But as makeovers go, even a designer as thick-skinned as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen would think twice about treading into such perilous territory.
The so-called “union black” has already raised the ire of the Scottish. Tuesday’s Scotsman newspaper said Mr Turner had “missed the point”.
“The United Kingdom is not a firm which changes its corporate branding each time the management alters. The flag is an enduring symbol of unity which transcends politics and absorbs cultural change.”
MSP Phil Gallie told the Scottish Parliament: “The suggestion that our flag should be redesigned is ridiculous tokenism and would do nothing to stamp out racism.”
Hat tip: Aeneas.