Saturday, 24 March 2012

Wrapping Ourselves In the Union Flag...

Much as I love the Union Flag, I'm not normally a fan of wrapping ourselves in it in a jingoistic or protectionist sense. But I am all in favour of flying it at public venues and major events and not being ashamed of proclaiming that goods or services have been "Made In Britain". 

I like to see British Athletes do well on the world stage and - for all my republican credentials - I like to hear the National Anthem played when our representatives win. Here's hoping we'll hear it again this weekend in Malaysia after Button's win in Melbourne last week, but I digress...

This year, of course, our athletes won't just be on the world stage - Britain will be the world stage. In 125 days the Olympics will be opened in London, followed by the Paralympics some 158 days hence. Our Olympians and Paralympians will be competing in front of a home crowd and chasing every medal possible. Our ability to host what is, arguably, the biggest show on earth will be front and centre. This year, more than most, Britons will be being judged and it presents the opportunity for us all to be proud to be British.

I fully expect that, come the Games, we'll see the flag flying proudly. Indeed, there already is a London 2012 logo which uses the flag...

This week, the Team GB Olympic kit - designed by Stella McCartney and Adidas - has been unveiled. The various versions are based on a monotone version of the flag, with differing shades of Blue and Indigo taking the place of the traditional colours, and red flashes are featured elsewhere.

I have to say I'm not a huge fan of all iterations but I'm pleased that there is a consistent look across all sports and disciplines - and for Olympic and Paralympic athletes alike. It is smart, it is different, it is distinctive and the athletes (and fellow blogger Stephen Glenn) seem to like it.

Here a few of pictures of where I think the kit works:

Andy Murray, Tennis

Jack Rodwell, Football

Lizzie Armitstead, Cycling

And one where it works less well - I don't really get the X-Factor/X-Men girdle/cummerbund...
Jonnie Peacock, Athletics (Track)

I started by saying I wasn't a fan of people wrapping themselves in the Union Flag, come the summer, though, I want to see many, many athletes wrapped in the flag - and maybe some of them will be like that gorgeous golden version in the pictures above.


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