Thursday, 5 May 2011

The 'EU flag' letters the Express did print

As mentioned on this blog, yesterday's Express claimed 'scores' of public buildings were being forced to fly the European flag next week or face being fined.

The European Commission Representation in the UK and the Head of European Parliament Information Office wrote to the Express pointing out the inaccuracies in their story:

Regarding your front page of today, only 2 buildings in the UK are expected to fly the European flag for Europe Day and the Commission would not fine countries that did not do so. The rules that make this provision were passed in 2006 by all EU countries, including the UK. No other public building has to fly the flag on 9 May though some may choose to do so. Some schools want to do something to mark the day and ask us for ideas. We send these purely on demand and they in no way constitute “instructions”.

But they were told their letter would not be published by the paper.

And the Express was true to its word. But the paper did find room for three readers' letters/emails on the issue - all echoing the paper's line. From B Lawrence, Crowle, Lincs:

Hoist the Union Flag in defiance on Europe Day

Yet another diktat arrives from Europe (“EU flag rule: We’re poles apart”, May 4). We now have the EU demanding that we fly their flag over our public buildings for a week to celebrate the EU’s Europe Day on Monday.

Schools are also being sent suggestions on how to celebrate. What can they do if we refuse to comply and then ignore any fine they may see fit to impose? Ask us to leave the EU? I doubt that very much. Not only do they say we must fly the flag of a political European federation and send an email photo as proof of having done so but they are also trying to brainwash our children. Just who do these people think they are?

We are not a federal state. We have a monarchy and our own flags which most of us are justly proud of. It is to be hoped that people make a stand next week and fly our Union Flag instead. I most certainly shall.

The time comes when we must say enough is enough. That time, Mr Cameron, is now. Get us out of the EU.

From Ann Masters:

We've nothing to celebrate about being trapped in EU

I sincerely hope David Cameron ignores the request to fly the EU flag on all Government buildings next Monday. To celebrate the EU’s Europe Day? This must be a joke. What do we have to celebrate regarding Europe? This is Great Britain and we have our own flag and long may it remain so.

We only have to take our minds to April 29 to show what a great nation we are when we saw Catherine and William married. This day showed just how patriotic the British people are. This is our country and we have to fight these Eurocrats who try to diminish what we are.

I am certain there are many people like myself who do not wish to be part of a Europe that wants to control us in every way possible. We still have time to pull out and once again be in control of our own destiny.

And from P Neighbour, Windsor, Berks:

Time to fly in the face of latest drivel from Brussels

This latest drivel from Brussels saying the EU flag must be flown from all public buildings here on May 9 is the last straw. Sadly I read that the flag must be flown at Eland House, Westminster, due to its role managing expenditure by the European Regional Development Fund.

When is someone in the government going to have the backbone and say ‘hang on’ enough is enough and ignore such rubbish in the same way as the French do when it doesn’t suit them?

So the Express knows its article wasn't true, but rather than correct it, or print the 'other side' of the argument, they decide to ignore the truth and repeat - three times - the original, inaccurate claims.


  1. Gosh, those people are angry.

    If they are indeed real readers then this is yet more evidence of how lies printed can be detrimental to peoples health. Imagine getting so worked up over a flag. It's not worth foaming at the mouth about anyway, but over a total lie..the Express should come with a stress warning. These people will read themselves into an early grave!

    Actually there's an idea...perhaps a nationwide study could be done to find out how stressed the average readers of these rags are compared to the average reader of papers which don't spew hatred and lies.

  2. This is sheer madness. The paper was actually sent a letter from the EU saying the story was wrong yet they STILL continue with it? I really don't understand this.
    The Paper.....Knows....It's wrong...But it still continues..... NO, sorry I don't get it.
    Can someone please sue these rags into oblivion because I'm getting really sick of this day in day out.

  3. I hear that a fourth letter was received from one Hapaq Lloyd of Runcorn.

  4. So far it seems papers often get away with this stuff by making dubious claims that things weren't misleading, things were opinion, or simply editorial content.

    I think people need to start linking misinformation with outcomes in people's opinion. It's not scientific, but surely letters like these, and the comments section on newspaper website (shudders) can actually provide some sort of sign that newspapers truly are misleading the public, expecially in this case, when they refuse to print the alternative opinion.

    Whatever happened to striving for balance and unbiased news reporting?

  5. This one has tipped me over the edge. Something needs to be done to this scum.

    F*cked if I know what though.

  6. Anonymous - Something does need to be done, and I think I have an idea what. Every journalist or commentor on these fake EU stories should be taken on a lengthy coach trip, first to Brussels, where a tedious man in a grey suit will explain to them, in detail, the remit of the EU and what they can and can't legislate on. Then they will be taken to Strasbourg, where they be lectured, ad infinitum, on the differences between the EU and the ECHR. For good measure they should probably be taken to a small room in the offices of the HSE and repeatedly shouted no at until they promise to stop printing guff

  7. Forward this to local MPs with a comment - "Are you sure they should regulate themselves?"

  8. I am totally opposed to our membership of the EU and our loss of sovereignty. We have suffered enough indignities through our membership without there having to be untrue scare stories put about. Just printing things that have actually happened, like the futility of the recent vote in Westminster on votes for prisoners, should be enough to convince people of the folly of membership of the EU. Circulating untrue rumours only harms our cause.

  9. We have a flag we don't need a rag from an illegally created group of countries to replace it and i will never, ever fly that advertising symbol as long as i live.

    I renounced EU citizenship along with hundreds of thousands of others so nothing they say will have any effect on me.
    I support the Express campaign but would rather they print whole truths to support it, to not correct it won't help us.


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