Leave the Union flag alone: Tory minister Esther McVey slams Team GB's woke pink and purple rebrand after overhaul sparked backlash - adding 'I can't imagine what would possess someone to change it'

2 weeks ago 9

Tory Minister Esther McVey has slammed Team GB's pink and purple rebrand of the Union Jack, stating 'I can't imagine what possessed someone to think that the flag needed changing'.

Designers from Thisaway have received backlash over the new merchandise they have created ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, ditching the red, white and blue colours in favour of pink and purple.

The Bath-based design and marketing agency said they needed to find a way to 'refresh' the colour palette in a way that was both 'flexible and ownable', but critics have slammed the design labelling it a 'disgrace'.

Commenting in The Sun, Tory MP Esther McVey said she was 'very proud' of the British flag and wished 'organisations would leave it alone'.

Tory MP Esther McVey (pictured) said she was 'very proud' of the British flag and wished 'organisations would leave it alone'

The new Team GB Union Jack which features pink and purple colours 

Team GB's rebrand of the Union Jack colours, opting for pink and purple, has been met with backlash from fans 

She said it was 'obvious' the design would receive backlash, as 'people rightly want the athletes to display the correct flag'.

'This Government is proud of Britain, what we stand for and what we have achieved. I think we should all unite behind our flag', she added.

Thisaway set up five years ago by Graeme Cook and has worked for clients including Grand National organisers the Jockey Club and England Rugby.

Fans first spotted the rebranded design at the World Aquatic Championships in Qatar last month.

Thisaway has now attracted new negative reviews on Google, taking their average score to 1.6 out of five.

MailOnline understands that the 'brand refresh' is restricted to merchandise and will not stretch to the kit, designed by Adidas and Team GB, which will be worn by athletes competing in the games, which will carry the 'traditional Union Flag' on the arm.

The new kit for Paris 2024 will be released later this month.

One critic posted: 'How dare you deface the union flag, you should be ashamed of yourselves. RED, WHITE, AND BLUE is the colour, not this multi coloured disgrace.'

Others wrote, 'Why are you messing with the Union jack flag on the GB uniforms' and 'You should be ashamed of yourselves'.

Another reviewer posted: 'Very disappointing that you think you can alter our nation's flag - leave it be please.'

A Team GB water bottle featuring the new Union Jack rebrand brought out ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics

The new rebrand looks to appeal to a 'new generation of sports fans', with flags, bunting and t-shirts available to purchase on the website

The full statement on the Thisaway website reads: 'As with many sport brands, colour was a point of contention. Obviously red, white and blue is synonymous with Great Britain, but it's far from unique, with other competing nations such as France and USA also sporting the same colours.

'We needed to find a way of refreshing Team GB's colour palette in a way that is both flexible and ownable.

'Rather than trying to look beyond the traditional colours, we decided to embrace them and push the iconic red white and blue as far as we could.

'The result is a vibrant and varied colour palette that has the versatility to be restrained and traditional in one breath, and bold and contemporary in the next.

'The core palette is also complimented by the three other colours that go hand-in-hand with the Olympic Games; gold silver and bronze.'

FA and Nike were forced to defend their changes to the St George's cross on England's shirt last month 

Team GB said they had received 'very positive' feedback from members of the public regarding the rebrand. 

The controversy comes after the launch of England's strip for this year's football Euros, with an altered version of the St George's cross on the collar. 

Nike describe the navy, light blue and purple colours as a 'playful update' on the nation's flag. They say the changed kit is not virtue-signalling but instead a nod to the 1966 World Cup winners.

But fans and commentators disagree and have reacted angrily since the release of the kit — which England will wear at Euro 2024 this summer — branding it 'woke' and 'dumb'. 

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