Thursday, May 31, 2012

Union Jacks

I was in Tesco buying my usual shopping. As I put it up at the checkout, I slowly became aware of how absurd it looked. Everything, more or less, had a Union Jack on it - I am sure that is meant to fill us with pride and enthusiasm - sorry I'm a republican (not in the American sense I hasten to add!) But if I was a monarchist - why do I want Union Jacks on my loaf packaging, my cornflakes, my potato scones, and crazier still on my toilet roll? Am I really meant to feel pride, wiping my bum with some proud, patriotic toilet paper? I mean they even had Pampers nappies with Union Jacks printed on them! So it is ok to shit on it! I am so pleased Amaia is already potty-trained because I wouldn't be indulging them in this nonsense.

It got me to thinking about why I don't feel as at ease with the flag as say Danes do with their flag, and similar. Then I realized it could be a Scottish thing - and I don't mean an Independence versus Unionist thing, I mean unlike my English counterparts, I grew up in Glasgow in the 70s. The Union Jack and the Irish flag represented the two sides of the sectarian issue. It doesn't make me feel all warm and patriotic, it feels vaguely sinister and to be avoided.

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