The battle of the flags, but will Swansea City ban the Union Jack ?
Monday, 22nd Nov 2021 09:00 by Keith Haynes
Once again the flags that supporters of the swans fly, a Welsh club playing by invitation in the English league system is up for debate. Saturdays brief entanglement with a Swansea supporter waving a Union Jack seems to have caused a few problems.
Let’s be honest, it was hardly a major incident, unsavoury for some maybe, but if anyone found it that bothersome they probably need to get out more. Having discussed the situation with this sites writers on Sunday we certainly think that the club do need to address this situation clearly and very quickly. The first issue is a very clear one.
Political flags of any nature should not be allowed in to the stadium at any time. That goes for any opposing political viewpoint, whatever that is. The issue for some seems to be the unveiling of Northern Irish flags with certain slogans on them. Things like ‘Swansea Loyal’ as an example. These flags are flown at the vast majority of British football grounds by supporters of hundreds of clubs. In England there doesn't seem to be an issue, and a number of Scottish grounds take the same view. In Northern Ireland the divide is clear, and any attempt to remove these flags would cause huge and potentially life threatening disorder.
Swansea City for at least thirty five years has had a small following, but it’s clearly growing, that indicates in its messages on certain flags that they are supporters of ‘loyalists’ or the loyalist Northern Irish cause. Let’s not just state this is a Swansea thing, Cardiff have had the same issues, as have Wrexham. These flags are clearly antagonistic to certain supporters. And if it keeps the peace then as the club has done with pro Welsh nationalist flags then it’s maybe time to make it clear these banners will not be welcome at the Swansea.Com stadium. It’s not hard to implement and the message will soon get across. Of course then that has to be applied to all flags bearing any form of political message.
That goes without saying.
Personally I have seen Union Jacks at Swansea City games for many years. Again to some people there are certain connotations connected to the flag of the U.K, but for us these are in the minds of those who oppose the united countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Again this is based on a political ideal or stance. Unfortunately for those who don’t want to see a union flag with Swansea City on it, there is little that can and should be done to oppose it. And these are the reasons we hope Swansea City consider carefully before agreeing to implement their flag ban, as I’m sure that will happen this week.
First of all Swansea people, and Welsh people in general in their absolute thousands are British subjects and are extremely happy with the fact that they are. Not only that many thousands have given their lives in conflict under the flag of the United Kingdom. Whether you, me or anyone else who supports this website likes it, that’s a fact. Welsh people will die in the future, having taken the oath to serve their country to protect our shores. They will be buried with a Union Jack during their last journey covering their coffins. They will have served their country and given the greatest sacrifice. That alone, and it’s absolutely regardless of anyone’s thoughts on this flag, is cause enough not to ban it from Swansea City home games. A Union flag with Swansea City on it, for us is fine. If Swansea City banned such a flag the support for the club would diminish most certainly.
That’s just a view of a few of us here, but it’s our view. You will no doubt want to contribute on the matter either below or on our forum,
The type of flag that is causing the issue at Swansea City, but not at that many other grounds in the U.K.
It doesn’t matter what we think of the flag, nor does it matter our private and personal thoughts on the issues it causes for a minority. A Union Jack has been flown in the east stand for many years, and we are sure that will continue to be the case. It bears the name Swansea City, nothing more. There’s never been an issue with this flag being there. The issue on Saturday was the owner waving a union flag provocatively in the faces of other supporters. That’s what caused the issue. That’s what provoked a reaction. His mate had a ‘Swansea Loyal’ flag but he didn’t get involved in this extremely foolish incident. By acting in the way he did this supporter was dealt with by the police and ejected from the ground. What the club decide to do with him is up to them, but this individual did cause an incident. I’m pretty sure had he not done that, and folded his flag up and gone on his way, none of this would have happened.
We know how much the club cares about their anti hate stance, and we are very proud of the way they have continued to support all organisations that fight hate and discrimination. We are a multi cultural club with a multi cultural support, we know all are welcome. Never should any of us tolerate any hate towards any person regardless. Anyone who reads this website will know where we stand on that. With that in mind then all flags of all nations should be welcome, especially bearing our clubs name and supporting the team we love.
It’s the political message or intent that is the issue with any flag, a Northern Ireland flag shouldn’t be banned as much as any flag shouldn’t be. But any flag with any message, visible sign or representation on it that provokes a political reaction should never be welcome. And they should be banned. They are for other arenas and other places.
We know the swans will make a very quick determination on the ground entry rules this week before we play Reading on Saturday, and it has to be made. However, to even consider banning the union flag will bring far more trouble than a clear intelligent announcement that creates a very simple message.
No hate, no politics, this is Swansea City. Is it really that hard ? And please let’s start talking about the good things again, and the positive things we are seeing at our club. Fingers crossed this is quickly managed and the instructions are clear. Then we can all get back to watching our exciting team under the guidance of a new exciting manager and his coaching staff.
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