Home » Britons furious as over 25,000 people sign petition to ‘Save St George’s cross in English football’

Britons furious as over 25,000 people sign petition to ‘Save St George’s cross in English football’

The furious “woke” row over Nike’s new England football shirt has taken another turn, after a petition to remove the controversial St George’s Cross design from the kit hit 25,000 signatures and counting.

The kit was unveiled on March 18, and features a “playful update to the flag of St George” – where the cross is removed from its white background and displayed in shades of red, blue and pink – in what Nike said was a design choice to “unite and inspire”.

But the retooling of the cross has been slammed by commentators, politicians and – as the petition suggests – tens of thousands of dissatisfied Englishmen.

Joey Barton, who won one England cap in his 15-year senior career, highlighted apparent similarities between the St George’s Cross and the ‘bisexual pride’ flag.

The petition has reached tens of thousands of signatures, and multiple ‘supporter voices’ videos


While Rishi Sunak said he “prefer[red] the original” – though it is unclear whether the PM was referencing England’s first football kit, produced in 1872.

The Change.org petition, started on March 20 by someone using the alias of World Cup-winning former Three Lions boss Alf Ramsey – has been levelled at Nike, the FA and “england football”, has so far gained over 25,000 signatures – enough to fill Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, and then some.

The petition’s founder slammed the new design as “ludicrous”, and lamented its alteration as a “divisive” political statement which “strips the shared heritage that brings together this nation’s native diversity”.

They said: “I would love to buy this new shirt, but cannot while it shows the Cross of St George defaced.


England shirt/bi pride flag/Joey Barton

Joey Barton (right) said the reworked cross looked like the ‘bisexual pride’ flag

Nike/GETTY/Wikimedia Commons

“Therefore I ask you to sign this petition to make the FA and Nike realise their error here: to inform them that they have deeply offended English fans, look wildly out of touch with the fans, and to show that the English people and our ancient affinity for football refuse to be erased.

“Please change the shirt… Either use the appropriate, all-red St George’s Cross, or don’t use it at all!”

Signatories were invited to post videos to the petition; one said: “Enough is enough now… This country is getting diluted and changed every single day by leftie idiots and soft cowardly morons… enough is enough.”

Another added: “I’m so happy to sign this petition for St George’s Day… Not enough is made of the actual day… We’ve just had St Patrick’s Day which is wildly celebrated, and I just want St George’s Day to be exactly the same.”

New England shirt

Some commentators have suggested Nike would only make the change to the national flag on an England shirt


Elsewhere in the petition, “Ramsey” noted St George’s flag’s presence in other national and footballing iconography in the flag of Georgia, and the badges of AC Milan and Barcelona, calling it a “shared symbol of deeper meaning”.

The founder added: “It is as ludicrous to suggest that the cross be ‘playfully updated’ on Barcelona and Milan’s kits as what Nike and the FA propose for England here.”

However, AC Milan’s badge has seen its own St George’s Cross recoloured in kits spanning each of the last three seasons by kit manufacturer Puma, while Barcelona have had their cross’s colours altered by England’s current outfitter Nike for years.

Some commentators have suggested Nike would only make the change to the national flag on an England shirt – indeed, then-Nike-owned Umbro have released several shirts featuring St George’s Cross in a litany of non-standard hues in the 2010s.

But Nike have also changed the chequered red and white iconography which underpins Croatia’s football shirts to blue and dark blue for the Adriatic state’s away shirt – while Nigeria’s new home shirt has had its badge removed altogether.

In 2017, the Netherlands’ women’s football team also had the country’s heraldic lion replaced with a lioness on their kits – which were also produced by Nike.

Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak and Lee Anderson

Politicians including Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak and Lee Anderson have condemned the new shirt

PA/GB News

An FA spokesperson said: “The new England 2024 Home kit has a number of design elements which were meant as a tribute to the 1966 World Cup winning team.

“The coloured trim on the cuffs is inspired by the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, and the same colours also feature on the design on the back of the collar. It is not the first time that different coloured St George’s cross-inspired designs have been used on England shirts.

“We are very proud of the red and white St George’s cross – the England flag. We understand what it means to our fans, and how it unites and inspires, and it will be displayed prominently at Wembley tomorrow – as it always is – when England play Brazil.”

A Nike statement said: “The England 2024 Home kit disrupts history with a modern take on a classic. The trim on the cuffs takes its cues from the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, with a gradient of blues and reds topped with purple. The same colours also feature an interpretation of the flag of St. George on the back of the collar.”