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Thursday 25 March 2021

Flag Shagging - A Warning From History

It is no longer part of living memory, and now exists merely as another episode of past history, all too often reinterpreted to suit propagandists and other bad faith actors. The relatively short, yet genocidal and destructive time of the Nazi régime in Germany has lessons for all of us, although many will not want to learn the less convenient ones.

And I have to say, Mr Speaker, How Tickled I Ham ...

One of those lessons is that, apart from what was effectively state control of media, to provide the means by which the propaganda could be disseminated, the Third Reich depended heavily on symbolism. Symbolism of uniform, symbolism of gesture (the Nazi salute, for instance), symbolism of physical prowess, and symbolism of, well, symbols.

And there was no Nazi symbol more enduring than the swastika, presented as a military standard, or simply as part of a flag. Waved by enthusiastic Germans, leading columns of troops, and yes, flown from public buildings, the Nazi flag was ever present. It was, to use the current vernacular, a time of intense and committed flag shagging.

Respect for the flag. The flag flying from public buildings. All of this transmitted to the people by a compliant media. And once the symbolism is in place, all else follows: the increasing demonisation of anyone exposing the less than perfect governance of the country (“stop doing the country down”), for instance, is already well established.

Yes, well established in the UK. Here and now. As is that compliant media: today, the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph tells “Union flag to fly from Government buildings”, with the ominous quote “Our nation’s flag is a symbol of liberty, unity and freedom that creates a shared sense of civic pride”. It does that all by itself? Wow.

Where flag shagging can lead

There was more. “[Oliver] Dowden [the Culture Secretary] … said that the Union Flag ‘unites us as a nation and people rightly expect it to be flown above UK Government buildings’ … Although the guidance only applies to Government buildings, local authorities and organisations will be encouraged ‘to follow suit where they wish to fly flags’”.

How might that “encouragement” manifest itself? But we already know that, after the BBC, under its new and conspicuously cowardly DG Tim Davie, caved in to attacks by the Tories and their press allies and carpeted two presenters who had the audacity to make a light-hearted aside at Dowden’s colleague Robert Jenrick. Encouragement, indeed.

But, you may say, we have human rights. We have safeguards. We have freedom of speech, and of expression. And all of this is, at present, true. Sadly, we also have insidious propaganda - “people rightly expect”, on the basis, of, er, nothing, actually - and a compliant media capable of demonising those of inconvenient thought.

That compliant media is also well versed in demonising the other. It has already cheered to the rafters a series of moves to stifle the right to protest. It has already honed its skills in attacking a series of minorities. And meanwhile, the far right becomes emboldened, while the population are instructed by that same compliant media to Look Over There at the left.

Flag shagging keeps enough of the people in line, and sufficiently distracted, to cover for further suppression of rights and freedoms. By the time the penny has dropped, it will be too late. The country will have been sold down the river. Here endeth the history lesson.

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Anonymous said...

The country was "sold down the river" in 1979.

It's been drowning slowly in quasi-Nazism ever since.

It's what enough people want. So when the inevitable happens let there be no whining from the apologists and self-styled "liberals"* and "centrists"* who helped it on its ugly journey to an even more dystopian corrupt future.

*You can always tell them. They're the first to dribble about "pragmatism" and non-existent "parliamentary democracy". They are of course neither liberal or centrist - they're simply cowardly opportunists as bad in their own weasel way as any wannabe Nazi.

Arnold said...

If that incudes UK buildings in Scotland, it will be as popular as shit sandwiches. The SNP will be delighted.

Plento Demento said...

Mr. Greedlove or: How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Love the Flag

Anonymous said...

The tories have reduced the flag to a masturbation accessory.

Mr Larrington said...

In the wake of notable dickhead James Wild MP's complaint about the BBC's Strategy Report not containing enough flegs there was a cracking takedown on Twitter by radio's Adam Rutherford noting the number of flegs appearing in the last Conservative Manifesto, Wild's Facebook page and the web sites of Wild, Bloody Stupid Johnson, Prince Charles, Prince William, the RAF, the Brexit Party, and Visit Britain. All a big fat zero. TV's Brian Moore then proposed Mr Wild to be the new Minister for Flag Noncing.

Fleg noncing is, of course, prevalent in USAnia, where they will shoot you if you don’t show the Magic Skycloth due reverence, and in Scandiwegia, where they won’t.

Anonymous said...

You deliberately miss the fact that the Nazis invented a NEW flag to wave, ours has a proud history.

Anyone who has ACTUALLY studied the Nazis rise to power and the way they controlled every aspect of German society will see parallels with today's world. The way cancel culture and wokeness is applied, the use of language, brownshirts - er sorry the boys, girls, trans and non-binaries in blue knocking on your door and reminding you to stay in line (Lozza), or taking you away (Belfield). Legislation restricting your freedoms passed on a nod. Closing places of worship, actually the Nazis didn't manage it has successfully has this government! I could go on.

Meanwhile you worry that flag waving is the road to Nuremberg, we are already treading the path sans flags!

Anonymous said...

Soon, you'll be asked to drop your trousers by the Patriot Inspectors to check that you are wearing Union Jack underpants. Failure to do so will see you sent to a 're-education' camp.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:32 Every forward thinking Scot who wants out of this corrupt UK shitshow will also be delighted. We see Johnson for the useless, condescending, self-serving, foolish flag nonce with nothing to offer that he is. Only the dregs and the gullible think differently and there isn't enough of them to keep that satisfied smirk on his conceited face.

Anonymous said...

12:11 cont:

and don't forget to dob in your neighbour or corner shop to the local Gestapo, I mean council for breaking COVID laws, even if they haven't. And put up a rainbow flag inscribed 'thank you NHS' in your window......

Anonymous said...

Clap fer fatbollok ........ he’s had it twice before so why not again?

Anonymous said...

Oh look, someone already screaming "look to the left" as the obvious, expected distraction. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together is aware of the AAVE history of 'woke' and it's appropriation by Conservative think tanks for the purposes of shutting down progressive voices.

As for your mini-tirade against trans people, you'll be happy to know you fall neatly in line with the Party line - read up on the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft and realise who your actual enemies are in life, duckie.

Anonymous said...

@ 15:38 And that folks is the mindset of a dickish and deluded right-wing troll in a nutshell. Don't do this at home kids. Or ever.

Anonymous said...

To all the Scots shouting for independence and wanting to rejoin the EU: you have seen what's happening with the Irish Border, no? What makes you think you'll be different?

Anonymous said...

The flag represent the United Kingdom. Simple as that.

Right now, the UK is at risk of falling apart (as a result of Brexit), with Scotland seeking independence, possible re-unification of Ireland. Further disintegration is also possible. Now you have a Northern Independence Party running in the upcoming Hartlepool by-election that seeks to form a separate independent country (called Northumbria) from the rest of the UK. What next? An independent Wessex? Wales? An independent East Anglia?

If this happens, the flag will end up as a museum piece.

I think the tories emphasis on flag waving is nothing more than demonstrating their support for the Union.

So wear your Union Jack underpants with pride!

Exiled in Ard Mhaca said...

This doesn't apply over here in the wee 6 (N.Ireland). We have enough trouble over " flegs " in the past. As one politician said " you can't eat a flag " and this all looks like a big distraction. Taking hard fought for liberties and freedoms away but look up at the flag and salute it. Respect it by all means but this all smacks of overkill.

Anonymous said...

I predict.....any day now, tin/plastic lapel badges of the Butcher's Apron. A straight copy from paranoid gobshites in gun-crazy Land Of The Fee, Home Of The Crave.

You know a culture is entering its final stage when it resorts to this kind of comical hysteria. But what follows won't be funny. The pandemic will be a fart in the wind by comparison.

Anonymous said...

No, the flag represents bigotry and tory interests. Simple as that.

And if it wasn't for relics & fossils museums wouldn't survive. So, best place for yer flag, no? If they bunged it between pictures of Winnie and Bojo with a continuous loop of rule britannia playing through the tinny speaker above you'd have somewhere to go for a widdle wibble. Yooou'd get used to it.

As for the UK falling apart, it can't come soon enough and when it does it'll be a joyous occasion for every forward thinking person in each of the newly formed, tory free, independent nations.

"I think the tories emphasis on flag waving is nothing more than demonstrating their support for the Union". That statement can only mean one of two things; you're thick as shit or you're taking the piss.

Wake up man.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps I did not make myself clear. Disintegration of the UK would happen because people desire to escape from the increasingly authoritarian and corrupt tories. People are fed-up seeing Bojo splashing out billions of taxpayers money to his chums.

Breaking apart from the EU was bad enough, but breaking up the UK would be a nightmare!

Can you imagine having friends and family living in separate states and having to produce passport/visa at border checks just to visit them?

When I first heard of the Northern Independence Party, I thought they were being satirical, like the Monster Raving Loony Party. How wrong I was!

Anonymous said...

Oh right. Well, your first comment, hmm. Totally agree with your follow up, though. So, my mistake. Sorry bout that.