After having union flags removed from the seafront, the mayor of Penzance targeted social media
After she said union flags hung on the seafront to celebrate Brexit should be taken down, police are investigating racial harassment aimed at the mayor of a Cornish town.
When she said the 18 flags had been raised without permission and should be removed, Nicole Broadhurst, Penzance’s mayor, was berated on social media.
Thousands of people signed a petition calling for the flags to be placed back up, and hundreds of people left comments on social media, many of which opposed Broadhurst’s position, but some of which aimed personal attacks at her.
Police from Devon and Cornwall said they were investigating ethnic violence shared on social media on Thursday.
On the Penzance promenade, flags are not usually flown in winter because strong winds can destroy them.
But 18 flags appeared on poles operated by Cornwall Council on New Year’s Day to mark the end of the Brexit transition.
“Penzance Council has not approved these and has nothing to do with their installation. We are working with Cornwall Council and the flags will be taken down.”These were not approved by the Penzance Council and have nothing to do with their installation. We are working with Cornwall Council and the flags will be taken down.
She went on to insist that because they were union flags, not because they were illegal, the flags were not removed.
If they were Peppa Pig flags or Saint Piran flags or EU flags, Broadhurst said, “If they were Peppa Pig flags or Saint Piran flags or EU flags, they would still have to be taken down if there had been no authorization to put them up.”
He was profoundly saddened by the racial violence the mayor was exposed to, the councilman said.
“We are deeply saddened by the offensive and personal comments, including racist abuse, made in response to the removal of the flags; unity and community spirit are needed in these uncertain times rather than division and negativity.”We are deeply saddened by the offensive and personal comments made in response to the removal of the flags, including racist abuse; unity and community spirit are needed in these uncertain times instead of division and negativity.
The statement added, “The flags on the promenade of Penzance are usually hung until the end of summer around the time of the Golowan Festival [in June], helping to define our town’s positive spirit and bring joy to those who enjoy our wonderful seafront.”
“The flags that were flown on New Year’s Day were removed because they were flown without the permission of Cornwall Council or Penzance Town Council,” he said.
“We don’t fly flags during the winter months when the promenade is often subject to gusty winds that could damage both the flags and the flagpoles themselves.”