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Football Shirt Flag Change Uproar – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News

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Nike has come under fire for what it calls a “playful update” to the new England football shirt. The design of the St George’s Cross on the collar has been changed to feature various colours instead of just the traditional red. Nike say the aim is to “unite and inspire”, but many people have said they are unhappy with the change, including PM Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer


The new England football kit features a stylised version of the flag of St George. How is that a problem? Haven’t previous shirt designs played around with the simple red cross on a white background before? Isn’t it just a case of people creating problems where none exist? Or do you think that national symbols should be treated with more respect? What right does a sportswear company have to alter something as important as a country’s flag? Are some things too important to change? What do you think?

Writing skills

Research the famous story of St George and the Dragon (if you don’t know it already) then rewrite it as a first person narrative. Will you narrate from the viewpoint of St George or the dragon or perhaps some other character? Will you adjust the ending or keep it the same? Make it as serious or humorous as you like but remember to use the past tense and first person perspective.


Write a letter of complaint or praise to the makers of the new England shirt. Remember to use the features of a formal letter, including examples of grammatical structures such as the passive voice and subjunctive verb forms to give your letter the necessary tone.


The England football badge famously features three lions. Why? It’s not as if lions live wild in the British Isles! Research and summarise the history of this design.

What is First News?

To find out more about how First News could help your school unlock the power of news-based learning, through high quality, weekly resources alongside the print and digital newspaper, visit the First News Education website.

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