Wetherspoons England flags 'ban': Why pubs are being asked NOT to hang England flags for World Cup
Staff at Wetherspoons pubs across England are being asked not to hang England flags for the World Cup.
Guidance has also been issued around fans wearing England football shirts.
-> What is magnet fishing and why is it dangerous?Reports in the media today say Wetherspoons pubs have 'banned' England flags. In fact, the St George flags aren't banned outright, but pub managers are being actively discouraged from putting them up for 'consistency' reasons.
Bunting comprising all 32 nations taking part in the World Cup - including the St George England flag - has been sent to all 880 Wetherspoon pubs across the country.
Managers have been advised to fly this bunting, which gives equal prominence to each of the 32 teams, but not to add extra England flags in pubs.
J D Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon confirmed that this is due to 'consistency'.
-> Revealed: Where you can watch England's 2018 World Cup games"What we have said is the same as Christmas trees and decorations. We have sent this bunting to all our pubs, but staff can't go willy nilly adding anything they want to it.
"What we aren't looking for is for individual pubs putting extra flags up. So that one pub in Leeds might have a big England flag but another might not.
"The bunting is what we want people to put out. If they want them to put up a flag they can but we aren’t encouraging it.
"On one hand we aren’t encouraging staff to go freelance and put up your own flags.
We run our business professionally and what we don’t want is inconsistency. One pub with a big flag and another without, whereas the bunting is in all pubs."
-> The eight best bars in Leeds for watching live sportsFootball shirts - are they allowed in Wetherspoons pubs?
J D Wetherspoon says fans are welcome to wear England shirts in its pubs in most cases, but the decision ultimately lies with each pub's manager.
"As a pub trade we welcome football supporters. People can wear football shirts, that's no issue whatsoever, what we are also saying is if a manager of a pub has an issue with football shirts for whatever reason, if they want to stop fans wearing football shirts, they would need to have a very good reason for that."
England take on Tunisia for their first World Cup match tonight at 7pm.