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Home   Herne Bay   News   Article

Herne Bay Wetherspoon's pub blasted for using Union Jack instead of traditional flag to celebrate St George's Day

23 April 2014
by Jamie Bullen

Outraged drinkers have blasted a Herne Bay pub for using the wrong flag to celebrate St George's Day over bizarre claims customers could be offended.

The Saxon Shore, in Central Parade, draped the pub in Union Jacks to promote England's national day today instead of the traditional St George's flag.

Management at the Wetherspoon's-owned pub say it has "always" flown the UK flag instead of the English one, denying claims the decision was taken to avoid any potential offence.

Union Jacks are used to promote St George's Day at the Saxon Shore pub

Union Jacks are used to promote St George's Day at the Saxon Shore pub

However, head office staff today said they are being replaced with St George's flags. But when KentOnline visited this afternoon, no flags were visible in the pub.

Dental nurse Sam Gurney, 29, said she was "gobsmacked" after she saw the Union Jack promotion while drinking with friends.

She said: "Being quite a patriotic person, I thought 'Oh my God, why have they got the Union Jack instead of the St George?'

"I asked the manager and she said, 'Don't go there'. Apparently it was the Union Jack or nothing - I was completely gobsmacked.

"She said the policy was there because of fears the St George's flag might offend people, which is just political correctness gone mad."

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Patriotic customer Sam Gurney outside the Saxon Shore pub in Herne Bay

Patriotic customer Sam Gurney outside the Saxon Shore pub in Herne Bay

Sam added: "It annoys me because when it was St Patrick's Day, they made a big deal out of it flying Irish flags, Paddy hats and shamrocks but yet we can't celebrate our national day.

"The Union Jack doesn't make sense as Scotland are voting to break away. I'm pretty sure they won't be flying it on St Andrew's Day or St David's Day." 

After posting her disgust on Facebook, Sam received support from other drinkers equally astounded with the promotion.

Is the St George's flag offensive?

Shirley Turner posted: "Wetherspoons ought to be ashamed of themselves. St George is the patron saint of England so for St Georges day fly the Cross of St George which is the English flag. Simple!!"

Katherine KJ Baxter added: "Yet they'll still fly the cross to show support to the English football team. How does that work then?"

Pub manager Hayley Bates said she understands why drinkers have questioned the decision to use the Union Jack, but maintained it remained a tradition.

She said: "I can see her point, but we have always used the Union Jack to celebrate St George's Day and it has never been an issue before.

"She started questioning it and she also said we should make a bigger deal out of St George's Day than St Patrick's, which I agree with.

"But I've been at Wetherspoon for eight years and nothing has changed in that time."


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