Flag ban feels provocative


It all seems a bit cloak and dagger to suggest that pyrotechnics are smuggled into football grounds inside flags and banners.  I’d always assumed the ‘stick it up your jumper’ technique would have been the delivery mechanism, not that I’ve any experience of the subject.

Flares have been an increasing menace at football games across the UK in recent years, including earlier this season at a Europa League qualifying game at McDiarmid Park, which passed off without mention in the media, but police have previously limited their interventions to lectures and the occasional arrest.

Football clubs are dependent on Police Scotland for safety licenses for games, and in their wisdom, the police have determined this action will remove one method of entering a stadium with pyrotechnics and discharging them without detection.  The ‘stick it up your jumper’ technique remains, as does ‘light it while pretending to tie your laces’.  Jumpers and tie-up shoes are the real enemy here.

This is an arbitrary over-reaction to the criticism Police Scotland came under for failing to properly police the vandalism at Fir Park, it will not prevent anyone intent on letting off flares inside a football ground from doing so.  Over-reacting after under-policing is a well-known phenomenon.  Going after flags and banners feels provocative. Coincidence?

You’re likely to find out if you’re in a provocative mood on Thursday; Police Scotland will know that provoking a crowd seldom quietens things down.  The reaction to Fir Park made me hopeful that we’d seen the last flare from the Celtic support, now who knows? We’re deep in muscle flexing territory here.
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  1. Paul you are well connected at CP are the club doing ANYTHING about all this?



    Weeminger let me be the first to predict that celtic will lie in their statement. It’s a habit.

  2. Posted just before new article from Paul67.




    made a quick call to St Johnstone a few mins ago – despite the fact I am not going to game.


    The lady at the ticket office could not have been nicer, refunds will be made when tickets are returned AFTER the match, she said.



    I asked her what was going on, why we were not getting our usual warm welcome to Perth ( a little patronising does no harm.)


    Her response was that St Johnstone were following a Police Scotland request to take the action they were taking.


    This was NOT a St J initiative but a Police one.



    Make of that what you will. She also told me she was being inundated with similar calls to mine.

  3. Celtic should’ve released a statement before this situation,re., SJ ,became public.Now it seems they are reacting to the supporters concern.too little too late.

  4. Paul67



    So if ‘operation no flegs or banners’ is a success with the resultant no pyro’s – how will Celtic react when for the next game Police Scotland announce the next ban the flegs game?

  5. Paul 67,



    The ban might be a one-off for Elf and safety reasoning, but you are correct the ban feels provocative and it is being perceived as just another cog in the big wheel that is the OB act.



    I would ask anybody going to the game to act smart.


    IMO the smartest act will be to watch the game in the pub.



    HH, Always in Celtic.

  6. Richie #TeamOscar on

    Pardon the pun, but the hiding pyro angle is a smoke-screen.



    Flags are more likely to be examined to check what is printed on them, and the “doon the breeks” or “up the duke” would be the easiest way to smuggle them in.



    Sinister right enough.

  7. Having read back through all the comments about the ban at the St Johnstone game, I am concerned that those who are advocating all sorts of gestures of defiance may just be playing into the hands of those who framed the ridiculous law that has incensed so many of us. For instance, the idea that supporters blow whistles in order to cause the game to be abandoned is absolutely nonsensical. It would give the SFA cause to act. Knowing how they react to things Celtic, I would not be surprised if they would deduct enough points from the team to ensure that some also ran would win the league title.


    Perhaps we should continue to lean on our MSPs. Nothing disturbs them more than bad press. Are we not able to raise some sort of lawful campaign that would make all of them think? Individuals could also pester their MSPs until we get some sort of recognition that acknowledges our discontent with thing as they are.


    I personally raised the issue of the offensive behaviour act with Roseanna Cunningham, who incidentally is MSP for South Perthshire. She informed me that people in that area are sick of the behaviour of football fans going and coming from football matches. So to all who have decided to travel to Perth on St Stephen’s Day, please think of the Celtic name and behave. You know the MSM are just waiting for any excuse to promote anything that takes away our good name.

  8. Crazy Horse ‏@Celtusthechief 57m


    St Johnstone offering refunds.Tickets can be returned before 5 o’clock Today, before 2 o’clock tomorrow or the day of the game 01738455000

  9. Thought of a compromise. We get the crowd along to support the team in deepest Perthshire but everyone attending is NAKED, thus allowing the Police the satisfaction that nothing has been concealed and we make the obvious news stories for broadcasters the world over.



    Hugging a stranger after each Celtic goal may add a bit of spice to the overall entertainment factor :)



    Cushty csc

  10. There seems to be a real lack of communication within Celtic. The Fans Liaison Officer stated he hadn’t heard about this until the fans started reacting to the press report. If that’s true why not?



    As soon as any decisions are made within the club that might affect the fans, he should be informed. Ideally he should be involved in them.



    I worked under JP Taylor at the ticket office. I’ve no reason to doubt his honesty.

  11. Got a reply from JP Taylor saying the club don’t support the ban but as it’s an away match they don’t have a say he also said its a St Johnstone request supported by police Scotland

  12. corkcelt- SUPPORTING THE DAM 5 on

    Delighted to see a Leader on the subject. I have never taken a flag to a Celtic Game and to be honest flags can be a bit annoying if someone sticks one up obstructing their view. I’ll be here in Ireland sulking but if I was in Scotland going to the match a few days short of my 66th birthday, I ‘d break the habit of a lifetime and try to smuggle one in. Young lads in particular shouldn’t do it, no point in getting yourself arrested. However this is just one more poke in the ribs for Timmy. Maybe this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and Timmy “fights” back. By fighting back I’m calling for a Boycott on any grounds that refuses us the right to fly our flags. May I make a number of predictions for the game. (A) There will be plenty of Celtic Flags Flying. (B) The prevailing chant will be a no brainer, We won the League again ….. (C) There will be a cracking atmosphere (D) The Celtic crowd will lift the team and we will Gub them.

  13. One the one hand I think that pyro should not be in football grounds but the notion that the flags are being used to cover the lighting of these devices seems far fetched.



    Now if someone manages to sneek something into the ground what will the excuse be?






    Is it going to be strip searches and body cavity searches on Sunday?



    Anyone want to bet some pyro goes off somewhere else in Scotland on Thursday?



    Again I say wait and watch and bide your/our time.



    Don’t go looking for trouble on Thursday because it would appear the police are anticipating it.



    Be smart. Be safe. Enjoy the game and go home safely.

  14. Asking for trouble here. If theyd said “we’re banning white scarves” theyd sell out in minutes and we’d all be wearing them. Or is this their intentions, the sneaky barstewards.

  15. I'm Neil Lennon (tamrabam) on

    So if the Polis ban flags at Perth


    and at the same time there is no smoke bombs at perth


    The Polis claim their tactcs worked and recommend it for every game thereafter


    Voila, Auld Bill is yer aunties husband


    Successful Policing




    However if the the Polis ban flags at Perth


    and twenty smoke bombs get fired out


    the Polis tactics failed


    what then? Fenian hooligums?



    tales they win, heads we lose

  16. !!Bada Bing!!


    12:52 on


    23 December, 2013



    Which is low even for this time of year. The corresponding game last year was really sparse, and I’m sure this place was filled with anti-board rhetoric at the time too.



    That’s not to say that isn’t part of it but I wouldn’t read too much into it. I couldn’t go due to my wife having a last minute choir rehearsal and we couldn’t get child care. Loads of things happen at this time of year.

  17. I`ve never been all that keen on flags being waved during a match but they do add colour to the occasion. What really does annoy me are those ridiculous feathers that Scotland fans have in their hats but then they get away with everything! :-)

  18. Received further correspondence from my MSP James Kelly this morning related to his attempts to force a review of the OBF&tc Act. He’s keeping up the pressure on Roseanna Cunnungham who says she is committed to a review…but not just yet!



    I note that leading legal figures in Scotland back his case for an early review to this ‘draconian legislation’.



    Keep the pressure on James.

  19. .



    The Green Brigade should Organise a ‘Toga Party’ for St Johnstone..



    Then at Half Time start Singing Taking Yir Toga Aff when Rangers Die..(Again)..”



    Thus Revealing Hidden Messages in the Aforementioned Bed Sheets..



    Yea that’ll Work..



    Would be Quite fitting at Crimbo..;-)



    Doc Martins instead of Jesus Sandals though..




  20. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    I ve had cartons of juice taken off me by stewards at Parkhead… So how the ….. Do flares get in to other grounds.. ?



    A wee look at rubbish stewarding too would not go amiss….



    As for flags??



    Absolute disgrace..



    Stewards- open flag- look – no pyro.. Simple



    It’s just sheer intimidation




  21. As someone has rightly said, if there’s no pyro then Police will claim it as a success and flags will be banned permanently. Only solution is for lots of pyro on Thursday to ensure we get out flags back. That how it works?

  22. Someone should have told Mr Salmond that at Wimbledon flag size are only permissable if they are no larger than 2 feet by 2 feet.



    But there again he is a big shot and thinks he can flout rules with impunity and not be cast as a hooligan or trouble maker.

  23. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    has anyone looked at the flags on civic buildings? They may be concealing something?




  24. It has long been my experience that people who readily tell lies are the very same people who always assume that they are being lied to.

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