Heady days of Sven Göran-Eriksson’s England sit in contrast to flag furore | Jonathan Liew

Emotional scenes at Anfield remind us that the Three Lions’ first foreign manager grasped the role is meant to be fun

The cross stuff. Has it gone yet? Is it safe to open the curtains? Will the people of England once again be free to go about their business without being harassed by purple-faced flag-botherers waggling their purple-flag outrage? Purple – infamously – being the wokest of all the colours, never more so than when displayed on the woke crown jewels worn by the disdainfully woke Queen Elizabeth II.

The first thing to say about the England flag controversy – and don’t worry, we shan’t dwell long – is that it is so evidently and unapologetically a fuss about nothing, an object lesson in how right-leaning media can basically conjure a whirlpool of feverish anger out of thin air. Play a tune loudly enough and eventually all the usual suspects will get up and boogie: Crumpled of Ashfield, the guy who got out-jumped by Diego Maradona, some frowning factotum from the Daily Telegraph who suddenly seems to care an awful lot about preserving Plantagenet heritage and is definitely not being triggered by a piece of breathable fabric for money.

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