English football fans must not display the English flag

For almost 130 years the proud supporters of Berwick Rangers have revelled in the fact that they are a British team playing in the Scottish Football League. They call themselves The Borderers, and proudly display both the St Andrew's cross and the St George's cross on their scarves and merchandise.

But now the club's supporters have been told that they can't show the St George's cross when attending away games - because it incites sectarian tension.

The call comes from Stranraer FC, a rival of Berwick in the Scottish Third Division. Officials at Stranraer told The Times that there had been escalating tension at their ground, Stair Park, and that Berwick supporters would from now on be asked not to bring Union flags or the St George's cross into the stadium.

The decision has naturally angered fans, with one calling it a 'ludicous over-reaction'.

Tom Maxwell, who wrote The Lone Rangers about the club's history, said: 'It seems particularly ridiculous when no Scottish fans get told to take down the saltire when they come to Berwick.'

Berwick-on-Tweed, in Northumberland, is the northern-most town in England. The old town is on the Scottish side of the traditional border, the River Tweed, and Berwick was at one time part of Scotland.

The club prides itself on being able to draw both English and Scottish fans - Berwick is a little over two miles from the current border.


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