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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding cake baker bans Union Jack from factory because of 'sectarian' links

By Daily Mail Reporter

-Workers complain flag is a 'threat to their dignity'

Bosses at one of the Royal Wedding cake makers banned staff from putting up the Union Flag to celebrate the marriage - because of its links to football and sectarianism.

Workers at the McVitie's factory in Glasgow were told it was 'not acceptable' to fly the British flag.

In central London the Union Jack is already flying along Regent's Street and the Mall in preparation for William and Kate's big day.

But at McVitie's, management ordered the flag be taken down after some employees complained that it was 'offensive' and a threat to their 'dignity at work'.

The firm has been making cakes for Royal events since 1893 and is creating one of the two cakes for the wedding on Friday.

However, the company later backtracked and the flag which had a picture of William and Kate on it was put back up.

They had also taken down streamer in Union colours and two rosettes.

A security guard outside the biscuit and cake factory in Tollcross, Glasgow, said he had been bombarded with calls from the public voicing their disapproval at the flag being taken down.

A source at the plant said staff were stunned that sectarianism would stop the flag flying just days before the Royal Wedding.

They said: 'You really couldn't make this up - the Royal baker banning the Union Jack.

'It's a symbol of national pride. Everyone is flying the flag and putting up Union Jack bunting for Friday.

'There's a feel-good factor everywhere. But what happens in Scotland? It gets linked to the whole Rangers-Celtic sectarian madness.'

Another insider said: 'A group of staff were putting up bunting and a Union Jack in the canteen at lunchtime when one woman shouted that it was offensive.

'She said she would be bringing in an Irish tricolour if the Union Jack stayed up.

Banned? Union Jacks have been taken down in the McVitie's factory for causing offence - but they are hanging in Regent Street, central London

'Several staff then went to complain to management. They say it was affront to their dignity at work.

'The guy putting up the decorations was one of the gaffers but he was shot down by the big bosses. They steamed in and said the flag had to come down.

'A lot of staff were upset. they've said it would have been acceptable years ago, and that many have died fighting for the flag.'

A spokeswoman for United Biscuits, which owns McVitie's said the flag had later been put back up - and added that they were a proud British company.

'We had complaints about the flag From some employees given the current sectarian tensions,' he said.

'Bosses decided, given the complaints, to take it down and to stick with a more neutral theme for the Royal Wedding. Pictures of the couple and bunting remained.

'It was not a case of us being heavy-handed, just trying to make sure people enjoy the wedding celebrations without football associations.

'The Union flag was not banned and is now back up and staying up for the wedding.

'McVitie's is a proud British brand and has just launched a promotion featuring the Union flag on a number of its products to highlight the fact that it sources its wheat from the UK.'

United Biscuits said more than one person had complained but would not say how many.

The cake for William and Kate will be unbaked and include dark chocolate and crushed Rich tea biscuits as an alternative to the traditional wedding fruit cake that will also be served at their Buckingham Palace reception.

Forbidden? The Mall is adorned with Union Jacks this morning during a dress rehearsal for the Royal Wedding

Royal baker: McVitie's has been making cakes for Royal events since 1893 and is creating one of two cakes for the wedding on Friday



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