Since a young age I've had a slight obsession with the Union Jack. It's got to the point where my room is painted like one and people buy me Union Jack-emblazoned items purely because of the pattern. For the record, I don't like everything with the flag on it and, particularly when it comes to clothing, I still have a 'style' that I'd stick to. Anyway, here is my room in all its kitsche glory.
I've been trying to figure out what it is that I like about UJ so much. Perhaps the romantic in me likes the way it symbols unity on this island (I know, I know, that's not the case now) and I am certainly proud of where I come from. In addition as a graphic design student I grew to appreciate the flag's shapes, colour and arrangement - it's only 'flaw' that Wales is not represented. I'm not pedantic enough to insist the flag is its right way up but I love that there is a correct way.
Despite that, the colours shouldn't be messed with. Rip it up; use red, white and blue patterned fabric; burn holes in it - I don't care so long as it remains in those three bold colours. Although it says something that a flag can be changed so dramatically and yet still be recognised.
Despite my love for the Jack, there is something about it that makes me cautious to wear it with pride (usually in the form of the five bags I have), particularly in a work situation or on holiday. For one I don't really want to stick out in those situations and secondly, it can appear too bold, kitsche, possibly even intimidating.
This was epitomised in Geri Halliwell's dress on the Brits 1997.
I've watched the awards religiously since I was small and as my passion for music grew, I saw that the awards showed the best of the British. Some of the most iconic moments in our popular culture have come from those awards shows - even as recent as Cheryl Cole's 'I'm-living-without-Ashley' performance last year. Okay, slight bad example, but even now when I see it I think 'yeah, go girl!'. In addition, growing up in the whole Britpop era was bound to have had an influence. It sure did on the next PM.
Actually now I've mentioned the the Spice Girls I've realised they may have had more to do with this than I thought. When Wanabee was released I was eight years old and getting heavily into popular music. These bolshy, unashamed women used the Union Jack as a symbol of confidence. This clicked in my mind last week when I ended up watching Spiceworld: The Movie(don't ask) and noticed that the flag was EVERYWHERE.
So there you go, it seems the Union Jack, despite its male name, has become synonomous with my girl power. Now I have to hope that shops calm down their Union Jack covered homeware before I get a flat, otherwise my place will be covered in the stuff.