Flaming Republicans

Rogue students burnt a flag during a screening of the Royal wedding at King’s on Friday.

anglican arson Britain burn Cambridge chad kelly England ents flag kclu kcsu King's matt merrick Molly Gavriel party royal wedding union jack wedding

The Tab has learned that the British flag was burned in King’s during a screening of the Royal wedding on Friday.

Not content with 3 parties to mark the occasion, several individuals allegedly took down a Union Jack from above the KCSU notice board before taking it outside and setting fire to it.

Luckily, the fire was quickly extinguished and the burners were escorted from the scene, but there have also been reports that another flag was burned later that day in King’s.

KCSU President Chad Allen said of the event: “KCSU condemns this action which has offended a section of our members to whom burning a flag, on the day of the Royal Wedding in particular, is an upsetting and needlessly divisive action.”

King’s Ents officer Matt Merrick was also quick to condemn the burning, saying in an email: “I find the burning of this flag disgusting, the burning of our national flag should not be taken lightly.

“Secondly, the flag was bought out of KCSU’s Ents budget and thus I count this as theft and arson against KCSU property.”

Merrick also stressed that the act put other students in danger, saying: “The burning of the flag was done less than a metre away from the fire exit doors onto Chet Court in the bar and thus was a fire hazard.”

Ents Officer Matt Merrick talks to staff as the burnt flag lies in the background

But other students were more sympathetic. Molly Gavriel, a 2nd year history student at King’s, accused the college of “completely plastering the entire bar” without KCSU’s consent, and added: “They spent college money on stuff that quite a lot of people found quite offensive.

“The decorations violated quite a lot of our constitution, the bit which prohibits religious endorsements that offend peoples’ sexualities. It’s a secular college and this was an Anglican thing.”

KCSU Pres. Allen challenged Gavriel’s accusations, saying: “KCSU rejects the accusation that the decoration in the bar violated our constitution. The constitution forbids the use of its resources to propagate prejudices. The Union Jack is a symbol, and therefore can mean different things to different people in different contexts.”

The identity or identities of the flag burners is still unknown, but one witness said he saw two girls taking the flag away.

Whether or not they were King’s students is also unclear. A meeting of senior staff and students was held last night to try and figure out the identity of the perpetrators.

Party goers were unimpressed with the rogue arson. One rugby player was heard to shout “Kill the flagburners!”

Despite the flag burning, the atmosphere in King’s was one of celebration. Over 150 King’s students congregated in the bar to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage, cheering and drinking in honour of the future King and Queen.