Arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage has accused President Joe Biden of snubbing the United Kingdom during his four-day visit to Ireland.
President Joe Biden has been accused of deliberately snubbing the Union Flag of the United Kingdom by Brexit leader Nigel Farage in what amounts to the latest scandal from the commander-in-chief’s gaffe-prone adventure on the island.
The White House had already been forced to deny that Biden is “anti-British” over his behaviour both before and during the trip, with the President burning bridges left and right with Conservatives in the UK.
Now, in a report for GB News, Farage said that he believes that Biden deliberately snubbed the UK’s flag, citing the banner’s mysterious absence from the President’s armoured Limousine known as “The Beast”.
While in foreign countries, it is quite common for U.S. presidents to fly the flag of the country they are visiting alongside the flag of the United States.
This tradition has been kept to during past presidential visits to the UK, with Joe Biden flying the Union Flag in Scotland, while Barack Obama flew the banner while visiting Northern Ireland in 2013.
However, the flag was mysteriously absent from Biden’s vehicle when he landed in Belfast earlier this week, with the President instead choosing to fly a flag with the Presidential Seal alongside the American flag, instead of the Union Flag.
To make matters worse, the President once again started obeying the tradition once south of the Border, flying the Irish tricolour alongside the American flag while touring the island’s independent southern state.
“He willfully and deliberately chose and opted — along with the White House — not to fly the Union Flag,” Farage said during his show on GB News. “I believe this to be a deliberate snub.”
Farage went on to say that the channel had approached the White House asking for an explanation of the situation, but had not received a reply.
Deliberate or not, the decision not to fly the UK flag on the Beast while Joe Biden was in Northern Ireland has poured gasoline on an already blazing political scandal.
Many right-leaning pundits and politicians in Britain and Northern Ireland have been left feeling deliberately disrespected by the American President, who has openly shown his allegiance to neighbouring Ireland with his four-day visit, despite not being willing to take even a single day out of his schedule to attend the King’s coronation next month.
Multiple elected representatives within the pro-UK Protestant community in Northern Ireland have expressed particular frustration, with some even accusing Biden of being “anti-British” as a result of his recent behaviour.
Ironically, though the White House has yet to comment on the controversy, the decision not to fly the flag may have been an attempt to actually avoid controversy.
Although Farage claims that flying the Union Flag would be more controversial in Scotland, the history of the Union Flag in the northern region of Ireland — and even flags more generally for that fact — is extremely fractured, to the point the issue is regularly mocked in local media.
Unlike the rest of the UK members, Northern Ireland even lacks an official national flag, so the Biden administration may have simply made the decision just to try and stay away from the issue in the hopes of being perceived as neutral.
However, due to how the President frequently discusses his own Irish Republican heritage, Joe Biden has long been perceived as pro-EU and is believed to want Northern Ireland to leave the UK entirely and join up with the already independent southern state.
“He’s anti-British. He is pro-Republican and he has made his antipathy towards Protestants in particular very well known,” pro-UK politician Sammy Wilson claimed.
With this being the case, a decision to actually fly the Union Flag may have, ironically enough, diffused some tensions in Northern Ireland, particularly in light of the fact that the President’s trip was meant to be about reconciliation and bridge building, and not a mere tour of his Irish ancestral homeland.
In reality, though, the trip seems to be largely built around Biden’s Irish interests, with the American head of state telling the rabidly pro-Democrat Irish parliament on Thursday that he was “home” now that he is back on the island.