A right-leaning, conservative lawmaker in the UK has succeeded in stopping prisons in the country from flying the Progress pride flag.
Two large prisons in London—HMP Pentoville and HMP Wandsworth—have both displayed the progress Pride flag. The design features additional stripes to highlight trans people. This led to a complaint from MP Nick Fletcher. He is a member of the ruling Conservative government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Fletcher complained to the Ministry of Justice, which oversees the prisons. According to the Telegraph, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has written to the prisons to clarify what they can and can’t fly.
In a letter titled “gender ideology flag being flown above prisons in London”, Chalk says, “I understand the intention behind flying the flags was to show support for the LGBT+ community among Prisons and Probation staff.
“Whilst every prison is expected to fly the Union Flag, an establishment may also fly additional flags. This is limited, however, to those stipulated in the aforementioned guidance.”
“The six-stripe Rainbow flag is one of the flags authorised to be flown should an establishment wish to do so, but this permission does not extend to any other representative versions, including the one incorrectly flown.
“Therefore, those at HMP Pentonville and HMP Wandsworth have been duly taken down. We will work with our Estates colleagues to remind all our institutions of the regulations regarding the flying of flags on MoJ property.”
Objects to “harmful … ideology”
Fletcher is a Christian who has previously stated, “Christ is the greatest role model anyone can have.”
The MP for Doncaster, in Northern England, told the Telegraph, “The Progress Pride flag promotes the idea you can be born in the wrong body. You can’t. This ideology harms vulnerable people. I’m pleased the Secretary of State for Justice has taken action.
“Much more work is needed from Government ministers to remove the influence of this ideology from across government departments. It undermines science, free speech, women’s rights, and child safeguarding.”
Artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag in 1978 in San Francisco. In recent years, several adaptations of the flag have emerged. One featuring black and brown stripes was created in 2017 by Amber Hikes and Teri Gerbec in Philadelphia. This was followed in 2018 by the Progress Pride flag by artist Daniel Quasar. This included elements of the trans flag (which features white, baby pink and baby blue stripes).
A subsequent design added a purple circle on a yellow background to represent intersex.
Although some gender-critical folk online applauded Fletcher’s actions, others gave it a thumbs down.
Is that what your constituents sent you to Parliament to do? Bully transgender people from a public platform?— Tom💐🏳️🌈 (@TomHulme79) November 21, 2023
I’m sorry that a big brave boy like you is so intimidated by a piece of coloured fabric. I appreciate you devoting your towering intellect to such a Herculean task as *checks notes* deciding not to show support for minorities.— Scott Matthewman (@scottm) November 22, 2023
How did I know he was a Tory?— Lee Saunders (@LeeSaunders72) November 21, 2023
And for a South Yorkshire constituency so when did he visit 2 prisons in London to get upset by a flag or was he put up to it and by what group?
‘The LGBTI+ Pride flag does not represent an ideology, it is a cultural symbol that represents our existence as human beings with natural diversity. Being human is not an ideology’. @ValentinoInter https://t.co/onGRthyBw9— Jan Gooding (@Jan_Gooding) November 22, 2023
Even when her errors are pointed out, Greene refuses to back down.
The gender-critical firestorm around Steph Richards has also had unexpected benefits.
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