As a Scot of English descent I feel that I have a more balanced perspective on the current issue concerning the English flag.
Having just watched an interview on BBC Breakfast about it, interviewing someone from a think tank on identity, it is clear that the English have missed part of the point. The chap from the identity centre – quite ironically – referred to “the people”, “we”, “us” and referenced a poll whereby only 10% of the population thought the flag had sinister connotations. The problem is that he failed to reference that in all these cases he was referring to the English’s view of their flag.
Ask citizens of the other three countries that make up the UK….yes, there are actually other nations, BBC, seen as you regularly forget this….and the English flag is a negative symbol. And it is not for the reasons that the interviewees on the BBC said. It is not because England is “the dominant country” in the UK, whatever that may mean.
English flag = conqueror, occupier.
It is as simple as that. England has spend nearly all of its history trying to conquer its neighbours. Centuries of tyranny, bullying, rampaging, destruction. Longshanks still sends shivers down our spines.
And that is why it is not recommended that you drive your car in Scotland with the English flag flying from it. You will get your windows broken.
I will argue against anti-Englishness that is racist, and will defend the English when appropriate. But until England excepts that UK does not equal England, and accepts the devastating effects that it had on the development of its neighbours, and that its neighbours actually have legitimate complaints, there will continue to be anti-English sentiment. And some of it is legitimate.