Happy New Year everyone. Hope is it a great one for you all. 2012 was pretty special wasn’t it! Even if you don’t really like sports you couldn’t possibly fail to be moved by the events of the Olympics and the Paralympics and the amazing stories they generated.
And as for the Jubilee, even as person who isn’t much of a royalist, I couldn’t help but think it brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people. 2012 will be remembered then as the year in which Britain wore a smile on her face.
But 2012 is gone and it is time to move on and one thing I want to see as lot less of is the fashion industry constantly recycling the Union Jack flag. Throughout 2012 it has been everywhere. From Stella McCartney’s Adidas sports wear through to Clarks shoes (and million T shirts on the way) the Union Jack has been ubiquitous. And let’s not even get into stuff like this.
So why should we stop wearing it? Well it is not that I am not patriotic, or even not appreciative of the flag’s design (surely only the Stars and Stripes runs it close in iconic flags) It is just that last year we had very good reasons to be donning the colours – this year there’s hardly any sporting events that merit it as the key ones (like the cricket Ashes, World Cup football qualifiers) feature the home countries sides rather than Britain.
Of course the Union jack has been purloined by all sorts of pop culture magpies from The Who in the 60s through to Shane McGowan (yes you read that correctly in the late 70s. But they were arguably sporting the flag in an ironic way that reflected the pop art movement and punk respectively. There’s very little irony in anyone wearing the flag today. Even Noel Gallagher and Geri Halliwell with their Union Jack guitar and dress in the 90s at least did something surprising. No one would ever look twice at a musician donning the flag today.
What I’d hate to see is the Union Jack turn into another Stars and Stripes and become some weird ubiquitous emblem that’s emblazoned throughout the world from Argentina to Zambia on hats, t shirts and more but really is little more than cheesy fashion. It is better than that. Also we have seen so many permutations on the flag - green, light blue and more, that re-inventing it is neither clever or interesting now.
So it is 2013, the Union Jack was so last year. Time to move on.