A Labour councillor has expressed his concerns about schoolchildren singing the national anthem and raising the Union Flag because of the “cost” of the proposed moves.
A Conservative councillor in Bolton, Mudasir Dean, proposed the moves in order to encourage patriotism. Dean’s grandfather was the town’s first Indian immigrant, reports the Mail.
But despite the backing of the local Labour-run council, Cllr Chris Peacock opposed the plans, insisting that the patriotic moves would cost too much. He said: “Who will pay for these new flag poles and flags? Schools’ budgets are already stretched. Raising the Union flag won’t raise standards – that should be our priority.”
A large Union Flag with eyelets runs at about £3.99 on eBay, while flagpoles can be bought for less than £60 online.
Councillor Dean said: “If we were more patriotic – if we sang our national anthem and flew our flag – and instilled it in our younger generations, [immigrants] would do [too]”.
Bolton council is now set to write to schools in the area and ask them to consider flying the flag and incorporating a performance of God Save the Queen into the school day.
Cllr Peacock however remained opposed, telling the BBC: “If you want to inspire patriotism amongst our young people, show the clips from the Olympics again.”
A television would likely cost a school around £100, and showing clips from the Olympics are likely to take a longer amount of time than singing the national anthem, therefore cutting into teaching time.
London’s Olympics were primarily staged in and around London, and paid for from taxpayer money. During the opening ceremony, tribute was paid to Britain’s nationalised health service, the NHS.