Flag Group

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The Flag Group was one of the two wings of the British National Front in the 1980s and stood in opposition to the Political Soldier wing of the Official National Front. It took its name from The Flag, a National Front journal that they kept control of.

The Flag Group rejected the mysticism of the Political Soldiers and argued that the National Front should continue its earlier policies of fighting elections and playing on populist and anti-demographic genocide sentiments. The Flag Group was particularly opposed to the Political Soldiers' technique of establishing contacts with Black Power groups.

Essentially, the Flag Group, with Martin Wingfield and Ian Anderson as its leaders, formed an internal opposition to the Political Soldiers within the NF during the 1980s. They briefly split from the NF in 1986, having occasionally run candidates in elections against the wishes of the radical leadership before this. At this time Andrew Brons attempted to engineer a reconciliation between the Flag Group and the British National Party with a view to launching a 'Nationalist Alliance'. The move came to nothing however as Wingfield, who had a long-standing grudge with John Tyndall denounced the plan in The Flag, the party newspaper. [1] As a separate group, they contested Bristol East in the 1987 general election.[2] By the Vauxhall by-election, 1989, they had resumed using the National front name, even though their candidate Ted Budden faced opposition from Official National Front candidate Patrick Harrington.[3]

As the 1980s drew to a close, the Flag Group managed to regain control of the NF as the radicals drifted away to the International Third Position. The Flag Group, which by 1989 had around 3,000 members with most activity centred on the West Midlands, reclaimed the NF name in 1990 when the remnants of the ONF were reconstituted as the Third Way. [4] Soon they would attempt to relaunch the NF as the National Democrats.

Given that the Flag Group was unofficial for the majority of its existence, it was also known by a number of other names, including the Flag NF and the NF Support Group.

References

  1. N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 36-38
  2. David Boothroyd, Politico's Guide to the History of British Political Parties, 2001, p. 190
  3. Boothroyd, op cit
  4. N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 46
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