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MP of the day - Andrew Rosindell for flying the flag

Andrew_rosindellRomford MP and Shadow Home Affairs Minister Andrew Rosindell raised a point of order in the Commons yesterday:

"Andrew Rosindell (Romford) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Will you undertake to investigate what I feel was an appalling breach of protocol yesterday—Armistice day—when the flag of our country was not flown from all the flagpoles on the parliamentary estate, most particularly No. 1 Parliament street and Portcullis House? Will you please look into this to ensure that such a breach does not occur on Remembrance day next year?

Mr. Speaker: I, of course, want to make sure that we respect our dead, especially on Remembrance day, so I will look into this matter for the hon. Gentleman."

It's no secret that Mr Rosindell often gets mocked for the intensity with which he expresses his patriotism. But it is somehow comforting to know that there are MPs with such an unabashed pride in our nation. Symbols matter, and it would be nice to see the Union flag a bit more frequently. Its absence on Armistice Day is inexcusable.

Britain and America always make for an interesting contrast. Americans treat their flag with reverence - pledging allegiance to it on a regular basis, flying it outside their homes in their millions, and furiously debating whether burning the flag is unthinkable or the ultimate expression of America's freedom of speech.

In Britain we're more subtle. The flag comes out on special occasions. Or at least it's supposed to. Full marks to Mr Rosindell for - ahem -  flagging up a breach of protocol.

Update: Mr Rosindell is on a roll! He also led a debate in Westminster Hall yesterday, calling for the establishment of a British Day


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