Rangers fans hit out at St George’s cross ban

BERWICK Rangers fans have hit out at a ban on them waving and displaying the national flag of England at matches north of the border. Supporters have been told they can’t show the St George’s Cross when attending away games because it incites sectarian tension.

Third division rivals Stranraer are understood to have introduced the ban because of escalating tensions between the two sets of fans at their Stair Park ground.

However, the decision has angered supporters who have long revelled in the fact they are the only English team playing in the Scottish Football League.

Author Tom Maxwell, who recently published The Lone Ranger, an account of the club’s history, branded the move ‘ludicrous’.

He said: “There have been a number of occasions where Berwick fans have been told to take the St George’s Cross down at away grounds on the basis that it might incite something. It seems particularly ridiculous when no Scottish fans get told to take down the Saltire when they come to Berwick.”

Martin McCleary, who has only missed three Berwick matches in the space of six seasons, claimed overzealous police and stewards intervened nearly every time the St George’s standard was unfurled.

He said: “We are always being asked to take down the England flag. It’s not like we are displaying a swastika.”

Undeterred, supporters of the club have vowed to continue taking flags embossed with three lions and the cross of St George to away fixtures this season.

A Berwick Rangers spokesman said: “We do not allow flags which could be seen as sectarian or abusive, but we have absolutely no problem at all with the national flags of both England and Scotland.”