In an interview for BBC Wales this morning Charles Ashburner, a Welshman and the Flag Institute’s Chief Executive, has gone on record as saying that moves to change the flag of the United Kingdom to include Wales are “unlikely to be successful for the foreseeable future.”
Mr Ashburner suggested that whilst such a change might have been hard to resist in the event of a vote for Scottish independence, the mood throughout the country was now not conducive to a revamp of the UK’s global symbol.
This view is borne out by Admiral Lord West, Co Chair of the all party Flags and Heraldry Committee, who said that “as we are remaining one nation that we should let sleeping dogs lie and keep the Union Flag as it is.” a stand also reflected in a straw poll of members of the Flag Institute Council last night.
On behalf of BBC Wales ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1006 Welsh adults aged 18+ by telephone on 19-22nd September 2014. Interviews were conducted across Wales and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.
“During the Scottish referendum campaign there was discussion over what should happen to the union jack flag if Scotland decided to leave the United Kingdom. The flag has the Scottish Saltire element of the blue background and white cross but it has no Welsh representation. Do you think:
A dragon (or green) should be included somewhere on the Union flag as a symbol of Wales: 45%
The flag should not be changed at all: 36%
Don’t care – it’s not my flag: 16%
Don’t know: 1%”
On reviewing the poll Mr Ashburner suggested that there would have to be a much clearer desire within Wales before such a change could be discussed more widely throughout the UK.
He did however conclude that a more likely change might be for Her Majesty to consider changing her own Royal Standard, already split into four equal sections with two currently representing England. “The UK has four nations within it” he said, “it is not inconceivable that Her Majesty could now choose to include Wales in the Royal Standard.”