A Senior Moment: Flag a symbol of things we are proud of

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Goodness me, sand from the Sahara dumped on the doorstep, crockery-rattling earthquakes. Whatever’s next I wonder, a tsunami on Rutland Water?

Anything’s possible it seems, especially if you believe the doom-mongers. Last week saw the first in a sequence of blood-red moons – an astrological event known as a ‘tetrad’. To some this spells Armageddon, including an estimated three million Americans busy stockpiling food and weapons, digging bunkers and generally preparing for the end of the world as we know it (again). The red orb will appear three more times, making a final appearance over Britain on September 15 next year. By which time the world will have been plunged into a cataclysmic, downward spiral as predicted in the Bible - it says here. Do make a note in your diary won’t you, I’d hate you to miss it!

Now while I have to admit to being somewhat agnostically inclined when it comes to religion, I was outraged to learn that permission to stage a Passion play on Good Friday was refused by Oxford City Council because one of its licensing officers didn’t realise it was a religious event and may even have thought it was a sex show! Good heavens above. Don’t they have any educational standards for their staff ? In Oxford of all places!

Regular readers will know I have a bit of thing about our Union Flag. First off I get very cross whenever it’s flown upside down, even more angry when people say: “I didn’t know there’s a right and wrong way” and positively apoplectic about those politically correct idiots who insist it shouldn’t be flown at all because it might cause offence. To my mind, the simple solution for anyone offended by our beliefs and customs, is to go and live somewhere else! But I am chuffed to bits to see common sense and national pride prevailing in Bolton of all places, where a campaign has been launched by councillor Mudasir Dean – grandson of the town’s first Indian immigrant, to have the national flag flown at schools and to sing the national anthem at every assembly.

I am pleased on two counts. Firstly the initiative has come from a proud Briton who is a descendant of a migrant, secondly it has been backed by a Labour Council from where so much of the PC ethos seems to emanate. This is not a political issue, it’s all about pride in ourselves as a nation.

For far too long we’ve allowed ourselves to be browbeaten into feelings of guilt about our past and failing to take pride in our achievements. We should take a leaf from America’s book of pride. Wherever you go, the Stars and Stripes are flying from public buildings, offices, homes and schools, a symbol of their belief in themselves - surely to be encouraged on this side of the pond.

So well done Bolton, keep that flag flying. Just make sure it’s the right way up!