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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Artist's anger over grounded flag
Jonathan Parsons' flag
The decision not to fly the flag has been called 'almost censorship'
Plans to fly a black, grey and white Union Flag above Norwich Castle have been scrapped amid fears it would offend British patriots.

Surrey artist Jonathan Parsons who was commissioned by Norwich Castle Museum to produce the monochrome flag has said the decision is a kind of censorship.

The flag, for a new exhibition called Art out of Place, will go on display on a plinth inside the castle.

A museum spokesman said the decision was made after staff raised concerns.

It was felt disrespectful to veterans who fought and died in the war
Nicholas Thornton, curator of arts
Mr Parsons, from Farnham, said: "What has happened here is almost a kind of censorship.

"I wanted to see the flag go up to make a statement, but the situation has deprived people of the right to judge for themselves and that is what freedom of speech is all about.

"The extreme reaction is to do with people's perceptions. I cannot understand why people have taken it as a personal insult."

The U-turn comes little more than a week before the exhibition is due to open.

Nicholas Thornton, curator of arts at the museum, said the decision was made after staff raised concerns about the flag.

"It was felt disrespectful to veterans who fought and died in the war," he said.

The museum commissioned the work after seeing an original picture of a flag he had produced in 1993.


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