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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June, 2003, 06:16 GMT 07:16 UK
MSP flaps over Union flag
Last Night At The Proms
Colours in the Union flag have caused a flutter
A call for the Union flag to include the colour black to reflect multicultural Britain has been dismissed as "ridiculous tokenism" by a Scottish Tory MSP.

Charity worker Nigel Turner, who is launching the campaign, said the change would help mark the diversity in the UK.

His campaign called reFLAG aims to have a new flag by 2006 when it will be 400 years since the royal decree which brought together the flags of England and Scotland.

But Phil Gallie, MSP for South of Scotland, said the idea was a non-starter and would do nothing to "stamp out racism".

Mr Turner, 46, has emailed MPs, MSPs and the media, and is preparing to launch his campaign website

There's a lot of value in the process of asking what we want to say about ourselves and how we want to appear to others
Nigel Turner, reFLAG

He said: "We're used to big corporations spending millions on a new logo, which they see as a carefully-judged investment for the future health of the enterprise, yet the UK hasn't reviewed its logo - the Union flag - for 200 years.

"Changing a logo isn't just about the shapes and colours of the final design.

"There's a lot of value in the process of asking what we want to say about ourselves and how we want to appear to others."

But Mr Gallie said the idea would not get off the ground and called for the status quo.

Phil Gallie MSP
Phile Gallie said the flag should be left alone

He said: "I recognise the contribution made to our nation's history of people of all colours, not just white and black.

"The flag of the United Kingdom is just that, made up of the three national flags of the British Isles kingdoms."

"Given the campaign objectives the logic is that we should change the flags that make up the Union flag also."

The MSP said the UK's identity was "under threat from European federalism".

He added: "We should all celebrate cultural diversity in the UK, but the suggestion that our flag should be redesigned is ridiculous tokenism and would do nothing to stamp out racism."


SEE ALSO:
Ministers agree flag day review
20 May 02  |  Scotland


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