BBC Proms has come to an end for the year with the Last Night of the Proms in full production for the first time since 2019.
The mammoth orchestra production concluded with the new rendition of the national anthem, God Save The King, but this wasn’t what caught viewers attention.
At the 2023 finale, thousands of EU flags were waved alongside the Union Flag as the musical event came to an end.
Flags are traditionally waved at the end of the Proms, it’s thought this began during World War II in celebration of the allied troops.
Audience members at the Royal Albert Hall were reportedly given the flags by a campaign group outside the venue, although had no obligation to take one.
Some disgruntled viewers took to Twitter/X to complain about the ‘disgraceful’ display of unity with the European Union.
One viewer complained: ‘Traditionally a celebration of being British. So who are all the disloyal traitors to the United Kingdom waving the EU flag?
‘It should be Union Flags or nothing. This is Britain. Not the EU.’
Some were saying the flag wavers should have been ‘removed’ from the Proms, despite the waving happening right at the end of the event.
Another deeply upset viewer wrote: ‘BBC must investigate how so many EU flags were waved & on display at The Last Night of the Proms. Disgraceful & misguided BBC messing up a British tradition; a political gesture which would make Sir Henry Wood turn in his grave.
‘Utterly vulgar & wrong. Rule Britannia, not Rule EU!’
Sir Henry Wood was one of the early conductors of the Proms and famously opened the original concert with Wagner’s Rienzi Overture – a German composer.
This year’s conductor Marin Alsop, an American-born Austrian composer, concluded the Proms with a speech on diversity and equality in classical music.
This isn’t the first time EU flags have been waved at the Last Night of the Proms with 2019, the last time the final night went ahead, also seeing EU flags.
EUflagmafia on Twitter/X took responsibility for the flags and revealed 3,000 EU handflags were given out along with 120 large flags.
Most viewers were not phased by the EU flags, with one writing: ‘Read the room – it’s nothing to do with the BBC – it’s people expressing an opinion. As well as the Tories stopping peaceful protests do you want to ban the EU flag as well?’
Another said: ‘Europe is filled with summer classical music festivals, and the flying of the EU flag is a symbol of support for the music industry which has suffered enormously thanks to negligent Tory Brexit negotiators.’
‘Stop being so utterly ridiculous. We still live in a democracy & waving an EU flag at the Last Night of the Proms is still allowed. It’s called freedom of expression,’ replied a third viewer.
A BBC spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘Audiences choose to bring their own flags, and the Royal Albert Hall specify size limitations within their guidelines for safety reasons.’
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