THE UK Government should appoint a “minister for flags”, a Tory MP has suggested.

The news comes amid anger at brands changing the colours of the English St George Cross and the Union flag.

In March, top politicians including Labour leader Keir Starmer joined the backlash after Nike altered the English flag, introducing purple and blue horizontal stripes in what it called a “playful update” to the team shirt ahead of Euro 2024.

And in April, the Team GB Olympic squad were forced to respond after anger at a variation on the Union flag, using shades of pink and sky blue as well as patterns of squiggles and dots, which had appeared on merchandise sold since June 2023.

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Esther McVey, the Tory “minister for common sense”, posted an image of the Union flag on social media, writing: “I’m proud of our national flag – can everyone leave it alone and keep it just as it is.

“British Airways tried to change it many years ago – what a massive mistake that was just as it is now with our British Olympic Association trying to tamper with it.”

Speaking to GB News, Tory MP Henry Smith, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Flags and Heraldry, suggested that the UK Government should appoint a “minister for flags”.

Smith said: “We’ve seen this constant erosion of British identity. People died for freedom under the Union flag and I think it should be respected.

“I’m fed up with this sort of constant erosion of respect for our national symbols and I suspect that this is something deliberate and I suspect Team GB, probably in a panic, just pulled it back to say that the Union Jack will be properly displayed on kit.”

Smith further showed support for the idea of a minister for flags, going on: “It wouldn’t cost any more, it would just fix a point of responsibility in government to make sure that our national symbols are protected.

“So many of our symbols are now under actual deliberate attack by those who are interested in pursuing the culture wars, trying to cancel what it is to be British, and all of the great things that we have done.

“One of the things I reflect on, is that actually the Union Jack is a very trendy popular symbol around the world. You see the Union Jack everywhere, probably one of the most recognisable flags in the world.”

Smith has been the MP for Crawley since 2010. The APPG he chairs has a stated purpose "to promote the flying of the Union Flag and flags associated with the UK, British territories, dependencies, the Commonwealth, heraldry, British symbols and related issues"

Team GB said previously that it had received “very positive public feedback” for the adjusted version of the Union flag.

“This image doesn’t replace the Union flag, which we will wear with pride later this summer [at the Paris Olympics],” added a spokesperson.