Robert Jenrick criticised BBC presenters for daring to gently mock the size of his, Grant Shapps has a little plastic replica one on his bookshelf, while Matt Hancock paired his with a Damien Hirst picture of the Queen.
In the era of the Zoom interview, it seems government ministers believe nothing signals their patriotic credentials like a union flag placed strategically in the background.
But away from spare rooms in ministers’ homes, new spending figures also highlight the increasing embrace of the flag by the government under Boris Johnson’s premiership – whether motivated by Brexit, Scottish nationalism or the so-called culture wars.
Spending on union flags has increased in virtually every government department since Johnson entered Downing Street, with more than £163,000 spent this year and last. It accounts for 85% of union flag purchases over the past four years.
The lion’s share has come from two departments: the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – whose spending has increased each year since 2018 and comes to £118,000 since the start of 2018 – and the Department for…