An apparent anti-EU activist has been filmed spectacularly failing to set fire to a European flag after a rant about “forced mass immigration” eroding British identity.
The man, believed to be a white nationalist affiliated with far-right group the Bolton North West Infidels, posed in front of the flag wearing a balaclava before launching into his speech.
“The European Union is corrupt to the core,” he said. “It’s here to take away our nationality, our identity, our free speech and our sovereignty.
“Its forced mass immigration is genocide on the British people. Its main aim is to wipe us and our country out. We want no part of it. Get us out now.”
Exclaiming “keep Britain British! Rule Britannia!” the man proceeded to attempt to set the flag alight with a cigarette lighter.
But he appears to have forgotten European fire safety regulations and was quickly thwarted by the fire-retardant flag as the flames quickly flickered out.
Undeterred, the man turned back to the flag and attempted to light it again as it remained draped over a wooden fence.
The painstaking efforts continued for two minutes, with the video eventually stopping when a small part of one corner had burnt off.
The video was initially posted on the Facebook page of the Bolton North West Infidels this week, but was quickly deleted. Its authenticity could not be confirmed.
The group describes itself as the “voice of white nationalists in the North West”, adding: “We will stand with anyone willing to fight the enemies of Britain and for the rights of its indigenous people.
“We are against Islamic jihad, the Islamic takeover of parts of the UK, militant Irish republicanism, Zionism, Immigration, EU membership, Multiculturalism, Communism and the militant left (all sic).”
By the time the video was deleted anti-fascist activists had already picked it up and it was shared by the "Exposing racism and intolerance online” group.
One member dubbed it a “NWI public safety film on how EU consumer laws on fire retardant flags are keeping us safe”.
Since being picked up by campaign group Hope Not Hate, which labelled the man a “British Nazi”, it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, sparking countless parodies.
The unidentified man has become known as “Balaclava Flag Gimp” among anti-fascist groups.
A Facebook page naming him as a “public figure” has been created in his honour to “celebrate the joy” his video brings.
The page has brought together numerous memes and mash-ups featuring the video, including edits mixing in scenes from The Hunger Games and songs including "Burn" by Ellie Goulding and "Firestarter" by The Prodigy.
Other people attempting to burn the European Union flag have had more success.
An unidentified woman set a makeshift flag, made of paper, alight outside the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last year.
She held the burning symbol aloft in front of television cameras before being led away by security.
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