March 22, 2009
Stewards at Arsenal’s home stadium last week confiscated a ten foot St George’s flag from Blackburn Rover fans, claiming that it was a “racist” symbol.
Stunned Rover supporters from the Havelock Inn in Blackburn unfurled their flag which has the words “Havelock Blues” printed across, at the stadium.
According to newspaper reports, Mr David Iley, a regular at the Havelock Inn who had the flag made, said: “When we got there we started putting it out, and the steward came up and told us we couldn’t.
“It never entered my head at first that the St George Cross wasn’t allowed. I thought it was just that we couldn’t put it there. So we hooked it over the hoardings at the front instead, and the next thing we know a steward was taking it away, saying it could be seen as a racist symbol.
“I couldn’t believe it. When we took it to Hull the stewards even helped us put it up. It’s the national flag and it’s absolutely stupid that Arsenal should ban it.”
Spokesmen for Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all confirmed that national flags were allowed at their home grounds. Dan Tolhurst, communications manager at Arsenal, said: “Arsenal as a club prides itself on being inclusive with respect to all nationalities, cultural and ethnic groups.
“We have therefore decided that in order for all of our fans to enjoy their experience at Emirates Stadium, we are asking that only flags without any national emblems are displayed within the stadium.”
The comments section in a newspaper sums it all up: “It’s a joke. The English in England are becoming second class citizens.”
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Tags: immagrants, georges, george, flag, arsenal, football,
Location: Stafford, Staffordshire, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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