Keir Starmer joins calls for Nike to change colour of flag on new England kit

'It is a unifier. It doesn’t need to be changed. We just need to be proud of it', the Labour leader said of the St George's Cross.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has weighed into a growing row over the redesigned St George’s Cross on the new England kit.

Sir Keir said Nike should consider changing the emblem back to its usual form, arguing it is “something to be proud of”.

The new kit, unveiled earlier this week, shows navy, blue and purple horizontal stripes instead of the traditional red cross on a white backdrop.

Nike called it a “playful update” to the shirt ahead of Euro 2024 tournament, with the US firm claiming the new colours were inspired by the training kit worn by England’s 1966 World Cup winners.

Nike says the colours on the cuffs are also a nod to the training gear worn by England’s World Cup winners. / Credit: X/@Nikefootball

Sir Keir told The Sun: “I’m a big football fan, I go to England games, men and women’s games, and the flag is used by everybody. It is a unifier. It doesn’t need to be changed. We just need to be proud of it.

“So, I think they should just reconsider this and change it back. I’m not even sure they can properly explain why they thought they needed to change it in the first place.”

Some football fans have accused Nike of “wokery” by altering the symbol. Among those angered by the move is Reform Party MP Lee Anderson, who previously boycotted Euro 2020 matches over players’ decisions to take the knee as a gesture against racism.

On the new kit, he told the Express: “This virtue signalling, namby-pamby, pearl-clutching woke nonsense must stop. Any more of this and I’ll be on the first flight to Rwanda.”

Graphic side panels on England’s new away kit. / Credit: X/@nikefootball

Some football pundits and fans have also criticised the price of the shirt. An “authentic” version costs £124.99 for adults and £119.99 for children while a “stadium” version is £84.99 and £64.99 for children.

Sir Keir also called on Nike to reduce the price.

A Nike spokesperson previously told media outlets: “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.”

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