Bolton Council to encourage schools to fly Union flag and sing national anthem to ‘inspire patriotism’

Bolton Council will write to primary and secondary schools in the borough to fly the Union flag and sing the national anthem in assemblies to ‘inspire patriotism’.

The move was approved following a vote at a full council meeting at Bolton Town Hall on Wednesday.

Conservative councillor Mudasir Dean had put forward a motion to help inspire patriotism in the children of the area.

Councillor Dean said the Labour-Led authority would be writing to schools in the borough to promote the idea.

Mr Dean said the idea was inspired by his grandfather, who moved to Bolton from India immigrant in the 1920s.

“My grandfather was a proud Boltonian and proud of the Union Jack,” he said.

“When people migrate to this country, they don’t adopt a sense of Britishness and I feel to an extent that’s our own fault.”

Coucillor David Greenhalgh was highly supportive of the move, saying that Britain is ‘very patriotic when given the opportunity,’ and ‘what better way than to normalise it when in school.’

However not everybody was supportive of the motion.  

Labour councillor Chris Peacock said asking schools to fly the flag and sing the national anthem would be ‘un-British’.

He said: “Why in this country do we not have the Union Jack flying from the Town Hall, but also libraries and post offices?

“I don’t see why we have to write to schools to tell them to do something they can already do.”

Councillor Peacock said he doubted whether the move will even prove to be effective, and said alternative methods should be considered.

He said: “If you want to inspire patriotism amongst our young people, show the clips from the [London] Olympics again.

“That inspires more people into sport, into being British, than ever seeing a flag.”

The motion was passed after a vote, with 33 votes in favour and four against while 12 abstained from voting. 

Image courtesy of Vaughan Leiberum, with thanks.

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