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Eastleigh hotel scraps EU flag

November 30, 2018
By

Holiday Inn gets 'Brexit ready'. EU flag was 'offensive to many local voters' says former Ukip councillor

Before and after. Top pic May 2017 (google) EU flag on right. Bottom pic today, replaced by Brand flag.

Although Parliament is yet to vote on the Government’s draft Brexit agreement one of Eastleigh’s most established hotels has already called time on EU membership and shown it is ‘Brexit ready ‘ by hauling down the EU flag as part of “general routine maintenance” after a former Ukip county councillor told the manager local residents found it offensive.

For many years the Blue flag with gold stars of the European Union has flown proudly alongside the Union Jack outside the Holiday Inn on the busy junction of Passfield Avenue and Leigh Road – one of the main approaches to the town – but it has recently been taken down and replaced by a corporate flag.

Fair Oak resident Martin Lyon – formally Hampshire County Councillor for Bishopstoke and Fair Oak from 2013 to 2017, has told Eastleigh News that he visited the Hotel some months ago and complained to a manager about the flag – he heard no more about it for a while but recently drove past and noticed it had been removed – which he attributed to his intervention – however in a statement Jane Standing, General Manager, of the Holiday Inn, Eastleigh said:

We are not aware of any complaint regarding the flags outside our hotel. It is hotel policy to display a minimum of two flags: the brand flag and the choice of either a national or regional flag.

In this instance, the flags were replaced as part of general routine maintenance and not prompted by any other action.

Nigel Farage at Costa Coffee Eastleigh

Nigel Farage (L) with Martin Lyon (R) at Eastleigh’s Costa caff on Market St in 2012.

Mr Lyon insisted that the flag had been replaced after he had made it clear to the Hotel that displaying it “was offensive to many local voters” – in the 2016 referendum, local people voted almost 40% to 36% to leave the bloc though last month Liberal Democrat councillors supported a motion in favour of a second referendum.

In an email to Eastleigh News explaining his objections, Lyon compared the offence caused by the EU flag to that of Nazi symbols.

For some, the EU flag is genuinely offensive pure and simple. It represents something undemocratic and oppressive that we do not agree with, namely a federal corrupt, super state that contradicts our own constitution, and therefore should be taken down.

If they flew a swastika it would be offensive for the same reasons – and more – and therefore taken down without question.

The European Flag was first adopted by the Council of Europe in 1955 with the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU on 29 March 2019 now only months away it is set to be less visible in British public life.

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5 Responses to Eastleigh hotel scraps EU flag

  1. Eastleigh Xpress on November 30, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    A couple of years ago one of the students on the Broadcast Journalism degree course at Winchester Uni made this video “Eastleigh, The town that Hates Europe” – I was quite annoyed by it at the time, but is this really how outsiders see us?

  2. Nick Tann on November 30, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    From what I can see from this story, the hotel takes down a flag for routine maintenance, some Kipper claims it’s because of a chat he had with the manager “some months ago* and is now claiming , months later, that it was all to do with him. The EU flag causes no offense to anyone.

    • Eastleigh Xpress on November 30, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      I don’t doubt Martin Lyon had the conversation and it may well be that the flag came down as part of a spruce up as they were all looking a bit tatty- but I can’t see it going back up again. Sign of the times.

    • David Knowles on November 30, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      The EU rag does offend me!

  3. TGR Worzel on November 30, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I wouldn’t say the EU flag is offensive, but it certainly isn’t welcome where it displaces the Union flag.

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