The Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) has confirmed to us that British soldiers in Bosnia have not changed their shoulder insignia, contrary to a wildly shared tweet from the ‘Veterans for Britain’ group. 

Veterans for Britain expressed anger last week that ‘British Forces were being put under the EU flag’ whilst participating in Operation Althea.

According to NATO:

‘The EU-led military operation ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) provides capacity-building and training support to the Armed Forces of BiH, it reinforces the BiH efforts to maintain the safe and secure environment in the region and supports the overall EU comprehensive strategy for BiH’

The opposition to the EU insignia made national news last week when Andrew Bridgen MP addressed the House of Commons. He asked for “an urgent statement on UK participation in the EU army that doesn’t exist”, referencing the Brexit campaign in which the prospect of an ‘EU Army’ was dismissed as “scaremongering”.

It seemed to me that Veterans for Britain then appeared to suggest that British soldiers were no longer wearing the EU insignia due to the supposed ‘outrage’ it had caused. However, both PJHQ and the Ministry of Defence confirmed to me that no change had been enacted with regard to shoulder insignia.

It is unclear whether Veterans for Britain were acting with any motivation or were simply incorrect. What is clear however, is that social media myths must be challenged.

8 COMMENTS

  1. We should never wear the flag of anything other than the UK. It used to grip people’s shit when they spotted some punters cutting about with an afghan flag on every bit of velcro. Any crow that were caught with them had them rightly ripped off.
    Mincing about with an EU flag takes the piss

  2. Whilst it was a mistake, one does have to wonder why the EU is leading anything? There’s no EU army or central command structure, despite their obvious desire for otherwise, so why are they ‘leading’ an exercise and forcing participants to wear the flag on their shoulders? It’s like the WTO being in charge of a military exercise.

  3. There will be an EU army when we Brexit. Britain was the main opponent to it because it would weaken and duplicate NATO work.

    In a few years, when we rejoin the EU or if we maintain close ties and follow EU rules on trade l, immigration etc then our army or a contingent will join that army. They may well wear an EU patch then.

  4. Hi folks, hope all are well.
    Can’t really see a EU military taking off for years if at all, the largest economy (Germany) has current issues with it’s funding for military maintenance and resources. Apart from France, there is little hope of any major well equipped and professionally trained compatens. Most EU nations are struggling now let alone a few years away.
    In addition, will the current EU exsist in a few years?

  5. These comments upset me. I am serving Commissioned Officer and hate people telling me what flag I may or may not wear on my uniform. It’s a flag! If I’m in Afghanistan and need to wear their flag, it doesn’t bother me. If I’m on a UN mission and need to wear a UN flag, it doesn’t bother me. The same applies to EU flags. Don’t make everything political, it’s the de facto flag of Europe as well as the EU and the UK is and always will be part of Europe. If it were instead of the Union Flag then the comments would stand; but it’s not.

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