32-metre-high Union Jack to be emblazoned on UK government building in Caerdydd city centre


Tŷ William Morgan, Caerdydd (Image: Gwalia).

A thirty-two-metre high Union Jack is set to be emblazoned on the corner of the new UK government building near Sgwâr Canolog in the centre of Caerdydd.


The newly built office block—Tŷ William Morgan—houses four thousand civil servants from several UK government departments and agencies; the majority of whom work for HMRC.


The building is named for William Morgan—Bishop of Llandaf and Llanelwy—who is famous for masterfully translating the Bible into Welsh in 1588.


According to WalesOnline, the plans to add the Union Jack onto the building were approved by Caerdydd Council.


According to the planning documents, the signage will be non-illuminated and applied externally to the upper level windows at the south east corner of the building.


While Caerdydd Council acknowledged the "large scale" of the vinyl graphic, it nevertheless approved the proposal on the grounds that it is "appropriately proportioned in relation to the overall scale of the building."


Detractors argue that the stunt—as they see it—is a knee-jerk reaction by the UK government to the rise in support for Welsh independence.


Similarly, the UK government's "flagship" hub in Edinburgh—Queen Elizabeth House—has also been emblazoned with a Union Jack.


Some see the strategy to locate grandiose UK government buildings in the Welsh and Scottish capitals and to brandish the Union Jack is part of Boris Johnson's move toward "muscular unionism".


This is not the first time that the newly built office block has provoked backlash. Earlier this year, large lettering spelling out "Llywodraeth y DU / UK Government" appeared on the side of the building.


However, according to the UK government's own style guide, the prescribed stylisation should actually be "UK government" with a lower-case 'g'.

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