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Thursday, September 9, 1999 Published at 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK

UK: Wales

Stereophonics 'flirt' with nationalism - NME

Flag-waving at Stereophonics concerts 'flirts' with nationalism

A music newspaper at the heart of a row over flag-waving nationalism at concerts by Welsh bands has responded in the wake of the incident.

The weekly New Musical Express (NME) admitted on Wednesday that an article entitled "Is Wales The New Germany?" had been "overcooked", creating a "media furore".

[ image: Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics]
Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics
The row began with a letter to the music paper by an English fan who had watched the Stereophonics performing at the Morfa Stadium in Swansea, with thousands of fans waving Welsh flags.

Such scenes are a common feature of concerts by other Welsh bands, such as the Manic Street Preachers and Catatonia.

The magazine received many letters supporting the Welsh bands, and pointing out that their expression of Welsh patriotism was mild when compared with what they said was the centuries of English nationalism of which Wales had been a victim.

The NME this week took the issue further, claiming the Stereophonics 'flirted' with nationalism.

It also said other parts of the media who took up the issue had forgotten several salient points of the argument.

'Enter the Dragon'

The latest article, "Enter the Dragon", said the band Oasis would not be allowed to wave the flag of St George and show footage of the England football team beating the other home nations.

"This is precisely the equivalent of what Stereophonics did so why should we let them get away with it?" the article said.

"Stereophonics, who I suspect aren't very bright, haven't as yet said a word about it," it said.

"In flirting with nationalistic slogans, Stereophonics have unleashed prejudices presumably beyond their intentions."

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