The New Face of Britain?
When Ian Lucas, a Welsh Labour MP, suggested the Union flag be redrawn to incorporate the Welsh dragon, he could not have imagined that this would be the "popular" choice.
Even at the height of Cool Britannia surely Tony Blair would have baulked at adopting this sunglasses-wearing, flame-haired cartoon dragon as our national emblem. And to make matters worse it was designed not by a patriotic Briton, but a Norwegian. But the internet has spoken. After Mr Lucas issued his appeal for new flag, the Telegraph was deluged with designs sent in by readers.
Some were serious, some scurrilous, some frankly ridiculous. Many came from Japan, where our competition sparked a national craze after it was picked up by a popular online forum. We selected 20 of the best submissions and after a week-long online poll the sunglasses-dragon has emerged as the overwhelming favourite, with 55 per cent of the vote.
Even when we factor in questionable voting patterns (the winning design came from the back of the field with a surge of votes in the last few days) and the cynical wit of online readers, the choice seems a bizarre one. The Norwegian designer, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he intended the flag to represent the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in a modern, cool light. The dragon itself was inspired by a Japanese anime television series.
"It represents shouting "UNION!" and joining together; kicking reason to the curb and doing the impossible; fighting the power, and piercing the heavens," he said.
And what impact does he think the new flag would have on foreigners like himself?
"That the UK is awesome. I just hope they don't think it's a pirate flag."
"Actually, if this design is rejected as a common flag perhaps the Crown might file it for future use as a privateer ensign on the high seas or in outer space."
The influence of Japanese voters was also apparent in the runner-up design (above), which features a Manga cartoon character (SPOILER: it's from a light novel turned anime) riding the traditional Welsh dragon. It tallied seven per cent of the votes. The size of the dragon in relation to the tiny Union Jack may also have caught the eye of Welsh readers, who would have been less impressed with the third-place design (below), which earned six per cent of votes.
A flag showing St George slaying a Welsh dragon seems to jar with Mr Lucas's stated intention of illustrating Wales's "true place in the Union".
So has this whole exercise just been a bit of fun, or is there momentum behind the idea of a new Union flag? Nine per cent of people in the online poll voted to keep the existing design, and most Telegraph readers who left comments were hostile to any suggestion of change. Donald J Pedley summed up the mood of many readers who believe the Union Jack is both aesthetically pleasing and an effective national emblem.
"What an absurd idea. Has Great Britain nothing else to waste it's time on? The current flag is recognised and still respected around the world. It is still incorporated in flags of some Commonwealth countries."
SOURCE: Telegraph UK
More lulz here.
This flag is a flag that pierces the heavens. Believe in the country that believes in you! More Union Jack randomness.