Guardian prat mounts incoherent, politically correct VJ Day attack on Union Jack

Boring, shallow, smug, but very politically correct, this Guardian writer has a statement to make for VJ Day: the Union Jack is "aggressive" and "looks crap". What a politically correct, Guardian prat...

by Westminster shrink on 15 August 2015 05:36

Right on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender and the end of World War II -- a VJ Day service will be attended by the Queen on Saturday -- the Guardian has used the occasion to run an infantile, and rather desperate-looking, attack on the Union Jack.

It's by Jonathan Jones -- a smug-looking arts writer for the paper who was on the jury for the 2009 Turner Prize.

In a rambling piece pegging off the designers' decision to leave the Union Jack off the vests of the British athletics team for the forthcoming World Athletics Championships in China, Jones lays into "that jagged, explosive, aggressive, flag".

Obviously at least half-conscious that he's going to come across as a politically correct, Guardian prat, our hero quickly offers a disclaimer:

"I don’t mean the union flag is aggressive because it embodies an imperial arrogance or a coercive union that keeps Scotland in its place. No, it just looks as if it does."

Eh? If it looks as if it does, then it does. Flags are symbols, and embodying messages is what they do.

In any event, you don't need to deconstruct the internal incoherence, he can't hold the line anyway.

Seconds later we get this:

"On a battlefield it would make sense. Sure, this virulent standard served to rally regiments at the Battle of Waterloo. But today? At sporting events? It looks crap. Instead of suggesting unity, its sharp-angled divisions imply fragmentation. In fact, the relentless dynamism of its design evokes the shock and shatter of a cannon ball smashing into a French ship at the Battle of Trafalgar.

"This was fine when Britain ruled the waves but its military hysteria makes no sense nowadays."

So, in truth his complaint is in fact that it does symbolise Britain's past imperial glories and its related military successes. How it actually looks is not the point.

As a rather weak attempt at a cover story, he does go on to say how pretty the American and French flags are. The Stars and Stripes actually is an impressive looking flag. But the Tricolour is just boring.

He ends with the following:

"So here is an idea to save the United Kingdom as a political, emotional and cultural entity. Let’s invent a new flag. Let’s visually forget the history of internal compromise and external violence this flag so unattractively embodies. A new flag for a new Britain might help us love our – whole – nation again."

So yes. Despite his best efforts, Jonathan Jones does indeed come across as a politically correct, Guardian prat.

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