University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has ordered hospital security guards to remove Union flag badges from their stab vests after a member of the public complained they were “offensive”.
An anonymous whistleblower told the Bristol Post that twelve security guards received an e-mail demanding they remove the badges, which they have been wearing for around two-months, immediately.
“After a complaint from a member of the general public you are to remove the Union Jacks from stab vests,” it reads.
The Bristol Post describes the badges as being similar to those sold by the charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS), which extends assistance to the families of police constables who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Badges of this type became popular with police constables and other public protection personnel following PC Keith Palmer’s murder by a radical Islamic terrorist outside the Palace of Westminster on 23 March, 2017.
“The badges have been a recent thing,” confirmed the Bristol Post source. “The security guards got new stab vests that had Velcro on them and so decided to get the badges,” they said.
“It is an insult to the British people that they are having to be taken off.
“All the security staff are upset about it and cannot quite believe there has been a complaint.
“The staff are doing their best for everyone in the hospital, trying to keep people safe and a complaint like this is made.
“Personally I find it offensive that someone is offended that much by the Union Jack.”
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust have confirmed that the reports are true, protesting that “trust policy says that uniforms cannot be altered or personalised and that only professional badge adornments are permitted”.
According to a spokesman, “Security staff were therefore reminded of this and asked to remove any non-authorised badges or symbols from their uniforms.”