Olympic legend ‘disgusted’ at change to Team GB Union Jack

The Union Jack has been given an update on Olympic merchandise that has gone on sale ahead of this summer’s Games

Olympic legend Fatima Whitbread has been left ‘absolutely disgusted’ by the British Olympic Association’s decision to redesign the Union Jack on merchandise that has gone on sale ahead of this summer’s Games.

While it has been confirmed that British athletes will wear a traditional Union Jack on the kit they compete in in Paris, fans will be able to wave an updated flag, created using a ‘diverse design system’.

Design agency Thisaway to come up with idea to appeal to ‘younger audiences’, but the funky design has not gone down well with many people, in much the same way that Nike’s redesign of the St George’s cross on the new England football kit caused uproar.

The creators wrote on their website: “As with many sport brands, colour was a point of contention.

“Obviously red, white and blue is synonymous with Great Britain, but it’s far from unique, with nations such as France and USA also sporting the same colours.

‘We needed to find a way of refreshing Team GB’s colour palette in a way that is both flexible and ownable,’ the company wrote on their official website.

‘Rather than trying to look beyond the traditional colours, we decided to embrace them and push the iconic red, white and blue as far as we could.

Team GP water bottle

The new-look Union Jack adorns a water bottle

Team GB bunting

The new-look Union Jack can be waved with pride by Team GB fans in Paris this summer

‘Parade your pride for our country and the hard working athletes by displaying in any bedroom or flagpole. Create a show stopper, fit for any fan.’

Whitbread, who won a javelin silver medal at the 1988 Games, won’t be purchasing the new-look flag and was left ‘disgusted’.

 ‘I’m absolutely disgusted to think they’ve done it. Let’s face it, it represents our late Queen, it represents everything that embraces what’s good about our country as years have gone by.

‘I feel strongly about that. No way should they have just gone ahead and changed the country’s symbolic colours.

‘It is about national pride and unity, as far as I’m concerned.’

Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who was chief among those outraged by the new Three Lions kit, was also left raging by the redesigned Union Jack.

He told The Sun: ‘I’m totally against any change to our national flag. It feels that nothing is held sacred these days in the UK.

‘Our national flag has been symbolic for many years and should never be changed.’


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