A Labour mayor has caused an uproar after he took down Union Jack flags that had been put up to celebrate Brexit.
The mayor of Penzance, Nicole Broadhurst, took down eighteen Union Jack flags sighting their lack of authorisation. They had been placed there on the 1st January, the day after Britain’s departure from the EU, but were removed within twenty four hours.
Conservative MP Derek Thomas of the St Ives constituency which contains Penzance said on the issue that: “I think there’s no harm in it whatsoever and this should be about freedom of speech. I appreciate the town council looks after their property, including the flags on the promenade, but there should be some acknowledgement that we’ve left the EU.
“I can see no problem with the Union flags and it’s a shame the mayor has seen the need to comment. The council could have taken them down quietly.”
Following the decision to take down the flags, a petition was signed by hundreds of people to reinstate them.
One man who helped raise the flags wished to remain nameless but released a statement. He said: “I am a proud Cornishman and I am proud to be British. I have seen so many comments since the flags went up from so-called proud Cornish men/women who feel no bond to Great Britain but for some odd reason would feel proud to be a member of the European Union.
“The majority voted for British independence and the outcome should be respected and celebrated.
“It is clear that the vast majority of people who live in Penwith were very proud to see the Union Jack flags flying again.
“There are so many old photographs of Penzance flying Union Jack flags with pride and I truly don’t understand why anyone would feel anything but pride.
“It is clear that Great Britain are wonderful islands with the amount of people who want to come here. It is sad that I felt the need to purchase the flags out of my own pocket and put them up but I have a strong feeling those who should’ve put the Union Jack flags up wouldn’t.
I also have a strong feeling that if we voted remain in the EU then we would’ve seen EU flags flying high over our bay. I could be wrong.
“One thing I wish to make clear again is that I did not put these flags up to create more divide, it was done to try to unite us as a nation again.”