SNP FLAG SNUB TO ROYAL FAMILY, wrote the Daily Express; and from the Daily Mail; STURGEON BAND UNION FLAG FOR QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY. and of course from the Scotsman; MAY URGES STURGEON TO REINSTATE FLYING OF THE UNION FLAG; finally, this from the Daily Telegraph. STURGEON HAULS DOWN UNION FLAG.
Only one thing wrong with all these headlines. They are utter fabrication!
It would seem that in their haste to get to print no one actually investigated whether the story was true. No, they just went to press sat back and watched the magic happen; only it did not go quite the way they expected. Especially when the First Minister of Scotland refuted these claims on twitter.
In her response the First Minister stated: “Since the truth doesn’t seem to matter very much to some, let me set out the facts on this ridiculous flag story.”
She then set out two elements essential to the story. The first, “the Scottish Government has recently changed its practice on what flags to fly from government buildings on Royal occasions; and two, that I ordered such a change. Both are wrong.”
The statement continued: “Since 2010, the Lion Rampant has flown on Royal occasions entirely appropriate. Since the Lion Rampant is the Royal Banner. It is not clear to me why anyone would object to that. However, the key point is that there has been no change to this since 2010.”
It really speaks volumes that the Lion Rampant has flown on Royal family occasions for almost eight years and no one in the press noticed. But, hey, it’s the mainstream media, perhaps they were snowed under with other SNP bad stories going on at the time.
The First Minister of Scotland categorically denied issuing any “instructions, orders, or authorisations – or even expressed an opinion – about the changes.”
“Sadly”, she said: “The truth will not matter to some in today’s media – and that’s part of a much bigger problem I’m afraid. But I still believe (hope) it matters to most in the media – and certainly to the public.”
Hopefully it will matter to the public, alas though I fear those who still rely on these news outlets will take, ‘as gospel’ everything they read and everything they hear on today’s news. I am quite sure there are good journalists out there who are talented in investigating the facts. Sadly though, these individuals seem few and far between for if there were investigative journalists out there. Then this would have been refuted before it even went to print. And they would not be sitting today, with egg all over their face as Alex Salmond issued the facts that should have been put forward.
The Ex First Minister wrote: “What a load of complete piffle from the Mail, The Telegraph et al. The hoisting of the Lion Rampant had nothing whatsoever to do with @Nicolasturgeon. I changed the policy on the flag flying back in 2010 after an audience with Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral the previous year.”
The Mail has now issued an apology to The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon; however, it was stuck inside the paper in small print.
Those who do not as a rule buy papers regularly or who have saw the headlines will be under the impression that the First Minister of Scotland is tearing down Union flags. One also wonders, if it had not come to light that her Majesty had not approved the flying of the Lion Rampant on Royal visits would the hysteria over a flag continue? Perhaps journalists should return to the old fashioned way of journalism and actually investigate before going to print.