Let’s not be reluctant to show our patriotism

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Businessman Mike Joines is as patriotic as they come and says he’s enjoyed every moment of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics.

Like many others across the country, he has revelled in the national celebrations.

With the Paralympics getting under way this week, he was looking forward to metaphorically flying the flag for a bit longer.

So imagine his amazement when a contractor arrived in Park Parade, Leigh Park and proceeded to take down special red, white and blue bunting decorating the shopping area.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the deed was done on Wednesday – the very day of the Paralympics opening ceremony.

To make matters even worse, bunting that adorned Havant town centre was also removed.

Mr Joines, who owns a hairdressing business, called it a ‘gaffe’.

He said he felt it was disrespectful to all those Paralympians now representing their country in the London Games.

But before we castigate Havant Borough Council for any insensitivity or lack of patriotism, it is cheering to see it has admitted there was a mistake.

It has now instructed the contractor to put the bunting back up again until the end of the Paralympics.

So its premature removal was never supposed to happen, but somehow did.

We’re delighted to see that the bunting is being restored to its rightful place.

Because it is a celebration of our Britishness, something we feel we don’t do enough of.

Other nations are more obvious in their patriotism. Go to America and you’ll see countless star-spangled banners flying outside peoples’ homes and businesses.

But for some reason, we don’t do the same with the Union flag except for on special occasions such as the Olympics.

We fly the Union flag outside the News Centre at Hilsea every day and we’d love to see others doing likewise.

We’re proud to be British – so let’s not be afraid to demonstrate the fact.