Captain Moonlight: Flagging imagination

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The Independent Online
RIGHT. New millennium on its way, monarchy on the decline, role as focus and unifier of the nation lost amid a welter of prurience and apathy: something must be done. The Captain, naturally, has a proposal. What we need is a new symbol, something that would more accurately reflect and recognise the peoples and cultures of this diverse United Kingdom, pull us all together as we face the challenges of an uncertain future. What we need is a new flag.

I got the idea from Eddie Chambers, a 34-year-old Rastafarian artist from Wolverhampton. Mr Chambers has designed a Rastafarian Union Flag, in which the familiar red, white and blue is replaced by the Rasta red, green and gold. It was flying over Liverpool Town Hall last week as part of an arts festival. Mr Chambers believes that race relations in Britain would improve 'dramatically' if his flag were to be adopted. Some people have taken against it, but I think it's a jolly good idea.

But we need to go further, much further, in the cause of harmony and positive diversity, which is why, today, exclusively, I unfurl below my new Flag for a new Millennium, my FlagUK. You will notice that I have retained Mr Chambers' overall design, while making inspired amendments, principally the quarter with the little symbols on it, representing our ethnic minorities and regions.

All will be instantly recognisable, but in case anybody does need help, they are, from the top: the Wheel of Ashok (Indian community); crescent (Muslims); string vest (Scotland); Tom Jones (Wales); potato (Irish, carefully non-sectarian); whippet (northern England); season ticket (Home Counties); anorak (Midlands); open hand (South West, to greet tourists); gumboot (royal counties; Range Rover not shown); white shoe (Essex); piece of flat land (East Anglia). Place your orders now]

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