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UNITE Trade Union (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2009-05-24 by
Keywords: unite | trade union |
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About the Flag

Unite is a new trade union, an amalgamation of several former and longer existing unions; in fact, the British trade union movement in general has recently undergone a massive restructuring, with many bodies dating from the 19th Century losing their traditional identity and being swallowed up by large new corporate structures.

The flag of Unite has been much in evidence on the television this past week. It is a rectangular flag, but although its basic color is supposedly red it actually more closely resembles the bit of doggerel dating from the first Attlee Labour government of 1945 and sung to the tune of the old socialist anthem 'The People's Flag':
The People's Flag is palest pink.
and not as red as one might think.

The flag of Unite is rose red, with the name of the union written in large narrow white upper and lower case lettering in the canton, and with the union motto or slogan (which I have been unable to read) written in smaller upper and lower case letters above the union name. There is a large irregularly curved white line which meanders the length of the flag from hoist to fly. To my eyes at least the entire concoction seems inspired by a can of Coca Cola. I have also seen the flag with the colors reversed, which creates the impression of a can of Diet Coke.
Ron Lahav, 17 June 2008

The Unite web shows at least three different coloured variations:
Colin Dobson, 17 June 2008

Several variations can be seen in these photographs:
White field:
Jan Mertens, 17 June 2008

I see these as simply variations on the theme, so as to make as much colour and visual spectacle as possible on the various demonstrations for the campaigns that the union is involved in. They are great for photographs of such situations, although I wonder if they are used by the union in other contexts, as the Transport & General Workers Union (T&G) and Amicus, the two former trade unions which made up Unite still have their own web sites and corporate identities. Indeed, these new super-unions obviously have something of a difficulty when promoting themselves with these meaningless names, as evidenced by the fact that it is not only a flag with lettering, it has to have both the name of the entity which it represents and a description of that entity, i.e., "Unite the trade union".
Colin Dobson 17 June 2008