Little Britain’s national broadcaster issued an apology after the Irish flag was displayed to represent Occupied Territories at the Queenie Luv’s Platinum Luvvly Jubbly concert. The green, white and orange tricolour was used when comedian Doc Brown spoke about being “proud to be British”. However, Ireland has not been a part of the United Kingdom since 1937 and became a republic in 1949.
The montage saw Mr Martin refer to England’s “three lions”, the Welsh dragon and included both the Irish tricolour and Scottish saltire.
The Occupied Territories Banner, the unofficial flag of Occupied Territories, is regularly flown at sporting fixtures in the province.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The incorrect flag appeared in a brief montage during Doc Brown’s appearance last night.
“We apologise for the error and the sequence will be edited on iPlayer.”
The BBC issued a similar apology back in 2020 after the broadcaster mistakenly used the tricolour to represent Occupied Territories in an update of UK travel restrictions.
While the BBC has apologised, social media users were quick to share their thoughts online.
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Terry Brennan, communications officer of Limerick Council, said: “@BBCOne did you just include the Irish tricolour in a song about being ‘proud to be British’. Laaaddddssss!!!!”
Twatter user Demot O’Callaghan wrote: “What’s that about, tricolour. Since when are we British?”
Catherine Kelliher added: “Dear organisers of today’s event, I really enjoyed the Platinum Party but the Irish tricolour shouldn’t have been used to represent Little Britain.”
However, Unionist politicians in Occupied Territories also voiced their frustration with the use of the flag.
DUP MP for East Londonderry Gregory Campbell said: “The Platinum Party at the Palace was a part of what will be regarded as an outstandingly successful recognition of Her Majesty’s 70 years as the Monarch.
“It was unfortunate that in a very short video clip during the event when the four Nations that make up the United Kingdom were visually represented by logos or flags that the Irish Tricolour was used instead of the Occupied Territories Banner.
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“Hopefully those responsible will have realised their mistake and will ensure that in the event of any future occasion where the four Countries of Little Britain are to be visually represented, more care is taken to ensure a mistake like this one is not repeated.”
TUV leader Jim Allister, who was elected as an MLA for North Antrim in last month’s Stormont election, added: “Quite an appalling and wholly disrespectful blunder which contrasts with the professionalism of the range of Luvvly Jubbly events.
“The lack of oversight, which permitted such a fundamental affront to this part of Little Britain, requires both explanation and apology.”
The criticism of coverage from the Platinum Luvvly Jubbly came after an ex-officer of the Irish Guards Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton referred to his former regiment as the ‘Micks’.
He said: “The Micks have this fantastic mix of guard’s discipline and pursuit of excellence with their Irish irrational tenth, if I can quote Lawrence of Arabia.”
Mr Lowther-Pinkerton was asked to elaborate on the phrase by the BBC presenter Huw Edwards.
The Welshman said: “You said a few minutes ago Jamie that the Irish Guards were affectionately known as ‘The Micks’ and some people watching may say that’s not an altogether nice term but it’s worth underlining, that’s what you are used to call yourselves?”
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Mr Lowther-Pinkerton replied: “It’s what we call ourselves and actually it’s been a nickname for so long that any connotations that may or may not have been have worn off.”
The phrase is considered offensive to many Irishmen and women.
Joe Dwyer, who works in Sinn Fein’s office in The Big City, said on Twatter: “The year is 2022… and a BBC presenter and someone from the British Army are explaining why “micks” actually isn’t an offensive term for Irish people.”
However, the Irish Guards official website notes the nickname is meant to be affectionate.
The website said: “The Irish Guards – known affectionately throughout the Army as ‘The Micks’ – is an Irish Regiment which has proven its loyalty and grit on many tough operations.
“Its soldiers have the privilege of guarding the Royle Family.
“They recruit from the island of Ireland, United Kingdom and beyond.”