UK PM says ‘don’t mess with flag’ amid Nike’s England football kit uproar


London: British Prime Minister said national flags should not be “messed with” rishi sunak said on friday after NikeThe decision to use the changed design of St. George's Cross Some fans became angry over England's football shirts.
Nike, which makes kits for the England national football teams, unveiled its new design this week, which it said pays homage to the country's 1966 World Cup-winning men's team.
It has the St George's Cross, which is red on a white background, and the national flag of England, but in red, blue and purple on the back of the shirt collar.
Nike called the change a “playful update” that aims to “unite and inspire”, adding that the design “interrupts history with a modern take on a classic”.
But the move has prompted calls for the new design to be scrapped by some fans writing on social media and appearing on radio shows.
Britain is expected to hold a national election this year, in which cultural issues are likely to feature prominently, with politicians from across the spectrum commenting on the design.
“Obviously, I prefer the original,” Sunak told reporters. “My general view is that when it comes to our national flags, we should not mess with them, because they are a source of pride, identity, who we are, and they are perfect just as they are.”
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party, told The Sun newspaper that Nike should reconsider the design.
Naik said he understands the “importance and significance” of the St George's Cross.
“Given what this means to England fans, it was never our intention to cause any offence,” the US sportswear giant said in a statement on Friday.
“The trim on the cuffs takes cues from the training gear worn by England's 1966 heroes, featuring a blue and red shield with purple above it. The same colors also interpret the flag on the back of the collar.”
The Football Association of England said it was not the first time that “different colored St George's Cross-inspired designs” have appeared on England shirts.
“We are very proud of the red and white St. George's Cross flag of england, The FA said in a statement: “We understand what this means to our fans, and how it unites and inspires, and this will be prominently displayed at Wembley tomorrow – as it always is – when England face Brazil. Will play.
England manager Gareth Southgate played down the debate, saying that the important element of the England shirt was the Three Lions.
“I don't know whether the debate is about needing the flag on the England shirt, because obviously it hasn't always been there,” Southgate said in a press conference on Friday.
“The most important thing that should be on the England shirt is the three lions. It's our iconic symbol. It sets us apart not only from football teams around the world but from England rugby and England cricket.
“Should we be messing with the cross of St. George? In my mind if it's not a red cross on a white background it's not even a cross of St. George. It's probably some artistic form that I'm not creative enough to understand “
England play Brazil in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday, before hosting Belgium on Tuesday.

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