Dear Boris Johnson, what's with all the Union Jacks? – Susan Morrison

Boris Johnson with four Union Jacks (Picture: Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing Street)Boris Johnson with four Union Jacks (Picture: Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing Street)
Boris Johnson with four Union Jacks (Picture: Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing Street)
For some time now I have been concerned by Boris Johnson’s background. Well, I’m sure many of us are.

After all, this is a man who, as a boy, was apparently so disliked by his family that they sent him off to some sort of Dotheboys Hall rather than actually live in the same house as him.

Anyway, it's not that background I’m worried about. It’s the one behind him when he’s talking. I have no idea what he’s saying, incidentally. Most of the time he’s on I’m shouting at the telly, which is probably why I noticed what I am beginning to think of as ‘flag creep’.

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Flags of various sizes have begun to sidle into shot behind him, like he’s being photobombed by the Union Jack. Some are quite big. At one point, there were two giant ones behind his lectern. They reared up on either side like bizarre wings. He resembled the Announcing Angel at a UKIP nativity play.

Last week, I counted six. There was even a little baby one in front of him. The day before yesterday, there were two, standing awkwardly side-by-side like a pair of particularly patriotic ghosts.

I don’t recall seeing this much red, white and blue before – not even during the Falklands. I don’t remember M Thatcher being that ‘flaggy’, do you? Obviously, during her regular trips to Europe to administer a good handbagging to Mr Mitterand (I bet he secretly loved it) it was flags a-gogo, but that was because she was abroad and they do that sort of thing.

Americans have always been terribly keen on their flag. It’s everywhere. Many of those recent fierce defenders of democracy, fighting to have a democratic election overturned, were waving it about, although the effect was rather spoiled by that warrior for freedom who was dressed in what looked like a dumpster-rescued fake fur rug and a joke shop Viking helmet.

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Boris Johnson with just two Union Jacks (Picture: PA)Boris Johnson with just two Union Jacks (Picture: PA)
Boris Johnson with just two Union Jacks (Picture: PA)

Why has Boris developed this sudden enthusiasm for flags? Did one of his mates score a job lot on Ebay? Or is Boris worried that we might forget where we are?

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