Northern Ireland viewers accuse BBC of IGNORING their flag in Commonwealth Games coverage

Northern Ireland viewers accuse BBC of IGNORING their flag in Commonwealth Games coverage and even cutting away from the action if there is risk of it being shown

  • NI viewers accused BBC of ignoring flag in Commonwealth Games coverage
  • Every UK country except Northern Ireland had its flag shown during broadcast
  • Northern Ireland’s official flag is Union Jack but the Ulster Banner is often used 

Northern Irish viewers have accused the BBC of ignoring their flag in coverage of the Commonwealth Games.

Every UK country apart from Northern Ireland had its flag shown during a broadcast by BBC presenter Reeta Chakrabarti.

Although the official flag for Northern Ireland is the Union Jack, the Ulster Banner is used by the Northern Irish team at the Commonwealth Games and is recognised by FIFA for international football matches.

Northern Irish viewers have accused the BBC of ignoring its flag in coverage of the Commonwealth Games. The BBC used the words Northern Ireland instead of a flag during an evening broadcast

Northern Irish viewers have accused the BBC of ignoring its flag in coverage of the Commonwealth Games. The BBC used the words Northern Ireland instead of a flag during an evening broadcast 

Every UK country apart from Northern Ireland had its flag shown during a broadcast by BBC presenter Reeta Chakrabarti

Chakrabarti, who was raised in Birmingham where the Games are being held, was leading the broadcast when the graphics showed

The criticism is the latest in a litany of moments the BBC has either missed out a flag for Northern Ireland of confused it with the Republic of Ireland's

Every UK country apart from Northern Ireland had its flag shown during a broadcast by BBC presenter Reeta Chakrabarti

Martin McHugh and Michaela Walsh carry the Ulster Banner to represent the team Northern Ireland in the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on July 28

Martin McHugh and Michaela Walsh carry the Ulster Banner to represent the team Northern Ireland in the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on July 28

Northern Irish viewers flocked online to express their disgust at the show. One told the BBC to ‘get the Northern Ireland flag on your results board’.

Meanwhile, Northern Irish politician Baroness Kate Hoey asked why the BBC did not show the flag ‘as carried by the team’.

She said: ‘What is BBC News trying to do? At the Platinum concert at Buckingham Palace they put up the Irish flag for Northern Ireland and now they have no flag. 

‘Maybe they shouldn’t get the licence fee from residents in NI if they think we don’t exist!’

Baroness Hoey blasted the BBC for not showing a flag for Northern Ireland during one of their broadcasts

Baroness Hoey blasted the BBC for not showing a flag for Northern Ireland during one of their broadcasts

A Twitter user pointed out the BBC also seemed to have cut away from a Northern Irish swimmer finishing third, which would mean the flag shows, during a highlights programme

A Twitter user pointed out the BBC also seemed to have cut away from a Northern Irish swimmer finishing third, which would mean the flag shows, during a highlights programme

Seconds later a Scottish flag showed during highlights of a different race as Toni Shaw, from Aberdeen, won bronze

Seconds later a Scottish flag showed during highlights of a different race as Toni Shaw, from Aberdeen, won bronze

Furious Northern irish viewers hit out at the BBC for not including a flag for Northern Ireland

Furious Northern irish viewers hit out at the BBC for not including a flag for Northern Ireland

A Twitter user also pointed out the public service broadcaster seemed to cut away from the finish of a race in a highlights show to avoid showing a flag for Northern Ireland coming in third place. 

However, seconds later the BBC showed Scottish swimmer Toni Shaw coming in third in the S9 100m freestyle, allowing her nation’s flag to show on the screen.

What is Northern Ireland’s flag? 

The only official flag Northern Ireland has is the Union Jack but the Ulster Banner is often used to represent the country. 

The Ulster Banner has a Red Hand of Ulster and a crown on it and is associated with unionism and loyalism.

The flag is a point of contention in Northern Ireland, especially for Catholics and Republicans who want Northern Ireland to leave the UK and rejoin Ireland.

However, it is used by the national football team and was the flag waved by the Northern Irish team during Thursday’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

It was also used by Northern Ireland’s government for 20 years until 1973 when its parliament was abolished.

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The only official flag Northern Ireland has is the Union Jack but the Ulster Banner is often used to represent the country. 

The Ulster Banner has a Red Hand of Ulster and a crown on it and is associated with unionism and loyalism.

The flag is a point of contention in Northern Ireland, especially for Catholics and Republicans who want Northern Ireland to leave the UK and rejoin Ireland.

However, it is used by the national football team and was the flag waved by the Northern Irish team during Thursday’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

It was also used by Northern Ireland’s government for 20 years until 1973 when its parliament was abolished. 

The criticism is the latest in a litany of moments the BBC has either missed out a flag for Northern Ireland of confused it with the Republic of Ireland’s.

Just last month the BBC apologised after displaying an Irish tricolour flag during the Queen‘s Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace.

At an evening concert where comedian Doc Brown spoke of being ‘proud to be British’, the Irish tricolour flag — normally used to represent the Republic of Ireland, which has not been part of the United Kingdom since 1937 — made an appearance during a BBC montage on screen behind him.

The montage playing on the screen showed the England and Wales football badge, a Scottish flag, and then the tricolour flag, in line with the comedian speaking of ‘the red dragon, shamrock and thistle,’ intended to reference Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

The BBC apologised for erroneously displaying the wrong flag in a segment which referenced Northern Ireland

The BBC apologised for erroneously displaying the wrong flag in a segment which referenced Northern Ireland

At the end of 2020 the BBC apologised after it used the Irish tricolour to represent Northern Ireland in a Covid restrictions graphic

At the end of 2020 the BBC apologised after it used the Irish tricolour to represent Northern Ireland in a Covid restrictions graphic

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.’

Similarly at the end of 2020 BBC presenter Naga Munchetty was forced to apologise on air after the broadcaster ‘mistakenly used’ the Irish tricolour to represent Northern Ireland in a Covid restrictions graphic.

At the time the DUP said the apology was ‘welcome but disgraceful that it had to be highlighted’.

MailOnline contacted the BBC for comment today.

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