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Scottish pub takes down Japanese flag flying in support of Celtic star Kyogo Furuhashi after locals complained it was insult to Brits who died fighting in Far East in World War Two

  • The Cross Keys in Lanarkshire was forced to take down the flag after complaints
  • They had put out the Japanese flag in support of Celtic ace Kyogo Furuhashi
  • The pub had defiantly vowed not to take the flag down but has now relented
  • Complainants have said that the flag was disrespectful to British WWII veterans 
  • The Japanese ace has scored 16 goals in 26 games since joining the Hoops and scored two goals as they lifted the Scottish League Cup in 2021


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A pub which displayed a Japanese flag in support of Celtic ace Kyogo Furuhashi is set to take it down after locals complained to the council.

The Cross Keys in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, erected the flag outside the premises earlier this month.

But they came under fire on social media from some who have branded the flag an ‘insult’ to British people who died fighting the Japanese in World War Two.

The pub, which is popular with local Celtic fans, had insisted they would not be removing the flag through ‘fear or intimidation’ because of online criticism. 

The Cross Keys in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, erected the flag to pay tribute to Kyogo Furuhashi

The Cross Keys in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, erected the flag to pay tribute to Kyogo Furuhashi

However it later emerged that the licensee had told North Lanarkshire Council that the flag would be taken down.

The council said they had received a ‘number’ of complaints over the flag.

The Japanese ace has scored 16 goals in 26 games since joining the Hoops and scored two goals as they lifted the Scottish League Cup in 2021.

His rip-roaring start to life at Celtic Park has led to a number of Japanese imports joining Ange Postecoglou’s table-topping team.

Celtic signed Kyogo last summer and he was joined by compatriots Rio Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi in January. 

In a statement, the pub said: ‘Due to the screenshots circulating on social media we feel we should make a comment to alleviate any concerns around the reasoning for flying the Japanese national flag.

Kyogo Furuhashi has scored 16 goals in 26 games since joining Celtic and scored two goals as they lifted the Scottish League Cup in 2021

Kyogo Furuhashi has scored 16 goals in 26 games since joining Celtic and scored two goals as they lifted the Scottish League Cup in 2021

‘After the well-publicised racist abuse suffered by a high-profile Japanese sporting figure not so long ago, we tried to show a welcome to some new arrivals to Scotland.

‘Unfortunately some people seem reluctant to move on from events that happened circa 80 years ago and are letting their prejudice cloud their judgement.

‘To suggest that the Japanese flag is an act of anti-British sentiment is nothing short of ludicrous.

‘The question needs to be asked, would this be an issue if a Japanese flag was outside a Japanese restaurant or is it solely because of the venue it is outside?

‘For the reasons stated above we will not be removing it through fear or intimidation from pressure groups who have a clear agenda and will remove it at our leisure when we see fit.’

His rip-roaring start to life at Celtic Park has led to a number of Japanese imports joining Ange Postecoglou's table-topping team

His rip-roaring start to life at Celtic Park has led to a number of Japanese imports joining Ange Postecoglou’s table-topping team

The post racked up dozens of likes and retweets and social media users backed the stance the bar had taken over the flag.

One said: ‘Keep flying the flag!’

Another added: ‘Well done to the Cross Keys.’

One social media post criticising the flag read: ‘This is nothing short of an insult to the people who were killed and tortured by a vicious enemy in the 2nd World War and the people that survived were haunted to their closing day.’

Four men are to stand trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court later this month accused of singing a racist song about Kyogo.

Prosecutors allege Ian McKenzie, 30, Mark Speirs, 26, Dylan Devine, 25, and Marc Newton, 24, chanted about the 27-year-old on a supporter’s bus travelling from East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said: ‘We received a number of complaints and informed the licence holder about them.

‘The licence holder has advised that the flag is being removed.’ 

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Source: Daily Mail UK

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