Long after the Empire’s collapse, the Union Jack remains an internationally recognized symbol of Britain. But all that could change soon. Scotland, one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom (along with England, Northern Ireland, and Wales), will hold a referendum on independence this September. If it succeeds, Britain’s iconic flag may need a makeover.
The Flag Institute, the U.K.’s national flag charity and the largest membership-based vexillological organization in the world, recently polled its members and found that nearly 65 percent of respondents felt the Union Jack should be changed if Scotland becomes independent. And after the poll, the organization found itself flooded with suggested replacements for the flag.
Read more. [Image courtesy of the U.K. Flag Institute]
Conservative parliamentarian Liam Fox, Britain’s former defense secretary, is urging his country’s top prosecutor to investigate whether The Guardian and its journalists violated The Terrorism Act 2000 while handling Edward Snowden’s leaks.
He is focused on the newspaper’s decision to partner with foreign publications like The New York Times. “There have been further accusations that The Guardian passed the names of GCHQ agents to foreign journalists and bloggers. Would such activities, if true, constitute an offense under the Terrorism Act 2000 or other related legislation?” Fox asked in a letter to the director of public prosecutions, adding a question about how a prosecution might be initiated.
These actions are ominous.
Read more. [Image: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett]
The unfortunate personalization of British politics
One Saturday in July, British intelligence officers watched as two Guardian employees used grinders to destroy hard drives and memory chips that held documents from the U.S. and U.K. spying programs revealed by Edward Snowden. It was their only choice, the Guardian later wrote, other than to surrender the equipment to officials.
Today, Reuters reported that British Prime Minister David Cameron personally dispatched his Cabinet secretary, Jeremy Heywood, to try to stop the Guardian from publishing its Snowden stories.
Read more. [Image: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters]
Reproductive physiology talking points at the height of Royal Baby Fever
The intense scrutiny Kate Middleton has endured ever since she and Prince William started dating is an amplified version of the scrutiny all women experience.
[Image: The Duchess of Cambridge by Paul Emsley]