Up with the people's lingo

Contrary to A G Wigley (Letters, 4 February), Lauren Booth is to be commended, not patronised, for reasserting the proper name of our national flag. In English, the usage of the people is sovereign, not misplaced dogmatism. Until quite recently, "Union Jack" was universal, and justifiable as metonymy. Then warped pedants, who considered figures of speech unscientific, fell upon Wigley's notion that "Union Flag" was more "correct". The BBC, ever eager to subjugate the national will to bureaucratic pseudo-authority, eagerly backed the pedants. The NS is to be congratulated for doing its bit to restore the natural order.

David Cox
London SW11

This article first appeared in the 11 February 2002 issue of the New Statesman, Take cover: evil is back