ReFlag is a campaign to change the union jack flag by the year 2006 to greater reflect the diversity of the UK by including black in the flag. It has been launched by a chap in London called Nigel Turner.

The UK has come a long way in the last 50 years to creating a true multiracial society. It’s time to wave the flag and celebrate the progress that’s been made!

A number of countries around the globe have black in their flags to represent the colour of their people. It makes sense for the UK to have black and white in our flag, to represent the different races and cultures which make up the country at the beginning of the third millennium.

We haven’t conquered racism, nor many other forms of prejudice, but by changing the nation’s main emblem, we can reclaim the union flag from those who have hijacked it for their own ends, so that our flag reflects the diversity of the people of the UK.

The Scotsman gives the idea short shrift in an editorial today There is always a risk of patriotism shading into chauvinism. But Mr Turner is being ridiculously literal. Does anyone suggest that the Stars and Stripes is not representative of black Americans? Or that the new Rwandan flag, with its poignantly golden sun on a light blue background, should be condemned for failing to convey the skin colour of its people?

The spirit of a flag derives from the spirit of a nation. Americans used theirs as a symbol of freedom and defiance after 9/11. Whether the Union flag welcomes all comers has nothing to do with its colour.

Having just spent a few days back in Lancashire where the racist British National Party are making serious ground, I’d like to tell Mr. Turner that his silly idea will do absolutely nothing to tackle real racism. On the contrary it will play straight into the hands of the BNP and other racists.

If Mr.Turner has the time and energy to devote to updating the symbols of state perhaps he might be better served dealing with the appalling excuse for a national anthem we have to put up with?