Unherd article by Alwyn Turner: "How Morrissey Revived the Union Jack" (August 8, 2022)

Here's a nuanced discussion of the Union Jack over the last 30 years.

It starts out focusing on Morrissey's Finsbury Park show but then broadens out into a much more cultural / political analysis of the flag and how it's been used.

Well worth a read, if you like this kind of thing. Sample paragraph:

It wasn’t the Union Jack that irked the hostile sections of the crowd. Their reaction was more to do with long hours of drinking, an impatience to relive their younger days with the Nutty Boys, and a suspicion of a bloke from Manchester wearing a gold-lamé shirt, split to the waist, prancing about in front of images of androgynous-looking skinhead girls. The previous year Morrissey had said his perfect audience would be “skinheads in nail polish”, but there weren’t many of them in Finsbury Park 30 years ago.

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Redacted

I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object.
Morrissey has been upgraded from Joan of Arc to Jesus -
"Now he knew how Jesus felt"
 

Dirk Blaggard

Well-Known Member
Here's a nuanced discussion of the Union Jack over the last 30 years.

It starts out focusing on Morrissey's Finsbury Park show but then broadens out into a much more cultural / political analysis of the flag and how it's been used.

Well worth a read, if you like this kind of thing. Sample paragraph:

It wasn’t the Union Jack that irked the hostile sections of the crowd. Their reaction was more to do with long hours of drinking, an impatience to relive their younger days with the Nutty Boys, and a suspicion of a bloke from Manchester wearing a gold-lamé shirt, split to the waist, prancing about in front of images of androgynous-looking skinhead girls. The previous year Morrissey had said his perfect audience would be “skinheads in nail polish”, but there weren’t many of them in Finsbury Park 30 years ago.
Also, M rightly got thicko faves The Farm taken off the bill.

That didn't help his case with the beer monsters.

Once they weren't the line up made More sense English eccentrics festival.
I was at the gig.
 
L

Les Tameside

Guest
Also, M rightly got thicko faves The Farm taken off the bill.

That didn't help his case with the beer monsters.

Once they weren't the line up made More sense English eccentrics festival.
I was at the gig.
Thicko faves were great when I saw them a few weeks ago, enjoying their overdue Madness support slot.
 

MILKISMURDER

Active Member
£17 in change for half a set, not bad busking that.
 

Emotional Guide Dog

Chairman Of The Bored
I'm quite happy for people to wave Union Flags and Crosses of St George around, but those flippin' flags that people attach to their car windows when England start doing well in football tournaments - they can shove off.

Also, going from Morrissey waving one around to Oasis doing so without mentioning Blur is skipping a step. Blur in 1993 was all steam trains and Spitfires and got in trouble for 'flirting with fascist imagery', until they started selling records, obviously.

PS: If someone on Twitter has a flag in their handle (or a hashtag), you can guarantee they'll be a 🛎️🔚. Doesn't matter what flag or hashtag either - it's the great political leveller. (Ukraine flag excepted)
 
K

Ketchup

Guest
I'm quite happy for people to wave Union Flags and Crosses of St George around, but those flippin' flags that people attach to their car windows when England start doing well in football tournaments - they can shove off.

Also, going from Morrissey waving one around to Oasis doing so without mentioning Blur is skipping a step. Blur in 1993 was all steam trains and Spitfires and got in trouble for 'flirting with fascist imagery', until they started selling records, obviously.

PS: If someone on Twitter has a flag in their handle (or a hashtag), you can guarantee they'll be a 🛎️🔚. Doesn't matter what flag or hashtag either - it's the great political leveller. (Ukraine flag excepted)
I don't mind the displaying or waving of flags so long as it's right time/right place. The people who have flag poles & flags in their front or back garden really piss me off. No consideration for anyone else as far as I can see. I always think 'what kind of people live in these houses'. Scutters from the gutters, no doubt.
 

MILKISMURDER

Active Member
Good article by the way. Cue ten pages of pontification on whether the Unherd website is far right/nahtzee or not…
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
Probably NOBODY who does not live in the U.K. is able to understand this whole issue... and I don't live in the UK.



A lot of people found this specific song controversial, though I don't.... mostly because I get its context.... but I think nobody got offended by the US flag.
Why is it that the Union Jack is "controversial"????? May someone from the UK explain it???
Bowie played a lot of times with a slightly modified Union Jack coat during his Earthling tour and such thing was not even slightly controversial.... I am really NOT getting something...

 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Calling the channel/website ‘UnHerd’ kind of gives it away. Only the (alt-)right unironically believe that everyone except themselves are part of a herd (of sheep). Only the (alt-)right will unironically claim that everyone except themselves can’t think for themselves and that they see “THE TRUTH”. The (alt-)right (and certain hippie lefties, I might add) will unironically dismiss science in favor of “free-thinkers” on YouTube.
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Probably NOBODY who does not live in the U.K. is able to understand this whole issue... and I don't live in the UK.
Why is it that the Union Jack is "controversial"????? May someone from the UK explain it???
Bowie played a lot of times with a slightly modified Union Jack coat during his Earthling tour and such thing was not even slightly controversial.... I am really NOT getting something...

It's hard to explain, and I don't claim to understand it fully, but this quote from George Orwell:

“In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman. If you were an intellectual you sniggered at the Union Jack… It is obvious that this preposterous convention cannot continue. The Bloomsbury highbrow, with his mechanical snigger, is as out-of-date as the cavalry colonel. A modern nation cannot afford either of them. Patriotism and intelligence will have to come together again.” (1941)

...shows that it's been going on a long time. It's that (supposed) divide between "patriotism and intelligence" which fuels the controversy over the flag, here in the UK. Like, if you're educated and smart then you should feel slightly embarrassed about being British (or, more specifically English). Whereas, if you're a less educated prole then you just blindly accept the whole "Rule Britannia", Royal Family etc stuff and you feel proud of it all.

There's also a bit of a political divide, with pro-Brexit voters being more likely to be flag-waving types, and Remain voters being less so. (See also: Conservative voters vs Labour/Lib Dem/Green voters.)

In short: it's complicated!
 

marred

Member
Calling the channel/website ‘UnHerd’ kind of gives it away. Only the (alt-)right unironically believe that everyone except themselves are part of a herd (of sheep). Only the (alt-)right will unironically claim that everyone except themselves can’t think for themselves and that they see “THE TRUTH”. The (alt-)right (and certain hippie lefties, I might add) will unironically dismiss science in favor of “free-thinkers” on YouTube.
It's more of a pun on Unheard as in conversations that people are afraid to have or hear. WTF is the alt right anyway? Is there an alt left?
 

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member
Calling the channel/website ‘UnHerd’ kind of gives it away. Only the (alt-)right unironically believe that everyone except themselves are part of a herd (of sheep). Only the (alt-)right will unironically claim that everyone except themselves can’t think for themselves and that they see “THE TRUTH”. The (alt-)right (and certain hippie lefties, I might add) will unironically dismiss science in favor of “free-thinkers” on YouTube.
You're correct, it's definitely that kind of space, but to its credit it does sometimes challenge orthodox left/woke thinking in articulate ways, as in this instance by the "cancelled" author Kate Clanchy, describing how her book was analysed by so-called sensitivity readers:

 

Redacted

I think I must be, absolutely, a total sex object.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
It's more of a pun on Unheard as in conversations that people are afraid to have or hear. WTF is the alt right anyway? Is there an alt left?
Conversations that only the “brave” people of the (alt-)right dare to have.

The alt right: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt-right

Or: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/alt-right

I’m sure there is an alt-left somewhere, and they’re probably as loony as the alt-right in their own way.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
You're correct, it's definitely that kind of space, but to its credit it does sometimes challenge orthodox left/woke thinking in articulate ways, as in this instance by the "cancelled" author Kate Clanchy, describing how her book was analysed by so-called sensitivity readers:

Thanks! I will definitely read that. The woke left and cancel culture sure as hell needs to be challenged. Gravely so.
 

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