Reply from Chris Doyle
Dear Ms Nilknarf,
I think it is only fare that I expand the views that I gave in my interview with CNN that have made far more out of them than was stated.
Firstly I made it very clear that I felt that the whole story of the wardens was a mountain out of a molehill, and an overreaction.
I was then asked to explain why some people might take offence. In that context I explained that Arabs and Muslims do view the Crusades as a bloody and brutal aspect of our past and that this was not something that we, as English people, had any reason to be proud of. Far right parties are also heavily associated with this flag and this also may cause issues within a prison among non-white prisoners.
Here I made it clear I did not see the flag of St George as racist as the prison report had allegedly stated.
However I did say that there was little connection with St George as the Patron Saint of England. We do not celebrate the day in April much at all, in comparison to say, St Patrick in Ireland. I continued that I felt that there was perhaps a case for reviewing who out patron saint should be especially as St George had no connection to England, and that in so doing, we should chose a patron saint and symbols that would appeal to all sections of English society.
My prime reason for advocating change therefore is because of the lack of connection with the Saint.
CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding)
1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE
Tel: 020 7832 1310
Fax: 020 7832 1329
I've not had the chance to put together a reply yet, but it's coming.