Why, Exactly, Did the UK Just Vote Down Its Own Flag?A local council in the U.K. just voted down the nation’s flag of St. George allegedly due to the fact that its link to the Crusades might offend the town’s 16 Muslim residents.

The Telegraph reportes that university lecturer Eleanor Jackson said the iconic red and white symbol could cause upset in in the town of Radstock, Somerset, because it was used 1,000 years ago during the Christian Crusades.

The council met to determine the fate of the flag, which flew atop the town’s civic flagpole.

“My big problem is that it is offensive to some Muslims, but even more so that it has been hijacked by the far right,” Jackson said. 

“My thoughts are we ought to drop it for 20 years.”

The Telegraph provides background:

Radstock Town Council, which serves a local population of more than 5,600 residents, eventually decided to purchase a Union flag to fly on Armistice Day.

The rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride movement will be flown at “appropriate” times of the year while an In Bloom flag will celebrate the town’s achievements in the gardening competition.

The objections raised about the flag of St George were branded “oversensitive” by the local Muslim community while the Muslim Council of Britain said England’s patron saint should not be associated with “any hatred of Muslims”.

But some British Muslims do not agree with the decision to remove the flag of St. George.

Spokeswoman Nasima Begum said, “St. George needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred.”

Rizwan Ahmed, spokesman for the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society even noted that she believes the decision is political correctness run amok.

“I think they are going a bit far here … It is political correctness going a bit too far,” she said. 

“Use by the far right is one thing, but to say that Muslims are offended I don’t think is correct. We understand the flag is part of this country’s heritage, and in fact many many Muslims will identify as being British themselves.”

While council chair Lesley Mansell insisted that Jackson’s objection to the flag ”was not really taken into consideration,” they have opted to fly the Union flag instead. 

(h/t: WeaselZippers)