Small Detail Sparks Big Debate Over England’s New Nike National Team Kits – SportsLogos.Net News

A small detail on England’s new national team kit has sparked a big debate across the pond.

On Monday, March 18, Nike released a slew of new national team kits, with England among them. Their new home kit features an interpretation of St. George’s Cross from the England flag on the back of the collar. But instead of being solid red like it is on the flag, the cross on the kit is red, purple and blue. Nike called it a “playful update” that’s meant to “unite and inspire.”

But it seems the flag has inspired anything but unity, as Nike and the FA have faced backlash from fans and politicians. At least three separate Change.org petitions have been started calling for the St. George’s Cross to be restored to its original form, the largest of which had nearly 49,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.

But it has gotten opposing politicians to agree on something, as both British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and opposition leader Keir Starmer have both decried the change to the flag.

“I prefer the original and my general view is that when it comes to our national flags, we shouldn’t mess with them because they are a source of pride, identity, who we are and they’re perfect as they are,” Sunak told reporters last week.

Starmer said he believed the original St. George’s Cross is a “unifier” and that Nike needed to “reconsider” the move. “It doesn’t need to be changed,” he told the Sun newspaper. “We just need to be proud of it.”

Courtesy The Guardian

But the FA and Nike have no plans to cave to the pressure and alter the new kit.

“The new England 2024 ‘Home’ kit has a number of design elements which were meant as a tribute to the 1966 World Cup winning team. The coloured trim on the cuffs is inspired by the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, and the same colours also feature on the design on the back of the collar. It is not the first time that different coloured St George’s cross-inspired designs have been used on England shirts,” reads an FA statement emailed to Time Magazine.

“We are very proud of the red and white St George’s cross—the England flag. We understand what it means to our fans, and how it unites and inspires, and it will be displayed prominently at (future matches).”

Courtesy CNBC

In the meantime, though, some fans are taking matters into their own hands. According to the Daily Mail, shops around England are selling iron-on St. George’s Crosses that fans can use to cover up the Nike version. Other fans are making their own iron-on transfers at home.

England midfielder Harvey Elliott played with his polo collar flipped up, hiding the flag, during a Euro under-21 qualifying match in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Friday, March 22.

As reported by Sky Sports, a statement from Nike reads: “We have been a proud partner of the FA since 2012 and understand the significance and importance of the St George’s Cross and it was never our intention to offend, given what it means to England fans.

“Together with the FA, the intention was to celebrate the heroes of 1966 and their achievements. The trim on the cuffs takes its cues from the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, with a gradient of blues and reds topped with purple. The same colours also feature an interpretation of the flag on the back of the collar.”


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