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Schools are being urged to fly the Union Jack and sing the national anthem at every assembly as part of a campaign to foster patriotism among the young. The campaign in Bolton was launched by a Tory councillor whose grandfather was the town’s first Indian immigrant. It was approved this week despite a Labour councillor questioning whether schools with tight budgets could afford flags and poles. Schools in the area will also be asked to fly the St George’s cross on April 23, St George’s Day, and the Commonwealth flag in March. Mudasir Dean said he wanted to seize the Union Flag back from the Far Right and show children it was a symbol people from all backgrounds could celebrate. My grandfather came to Bolton in the 1920s from India,’ he said. He lived here all his life and he was the first Asian to settle in Bolton.

Growing up in Bolton, I’ve seen less and less of the Union Flag. It’s been hijacked by the Far Right and it’s time we take that symbol back into mainstream British, Bolton life. Councillor Dean said complaints that new immigrants couldn’t settle in Britain was sometimes ‘our own fault’. Speaking before Wednesday’s vote, Labour councillor and school governor Chris Peacock questioned the plan on practical grounds. Who will pay for these new flag poles and flags?