Man told to leave bar for wearing Union Jack logo

A SOLDIER who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan has claimed he was asked to leave a bar because his polo shirt had a Union Jack on the collar.

Ex-soldier Richard Monteith wearing the shirt that got him kicked out of a Falkirk pub. Picture: Michael Gillen
Ex-soldier Richard Monteith wearing the shirt that got him kicked out of a Falkirk pub. Picture: Michael Gillen

Richard Monteith, 36, who served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders for 17 years said he was “shocked” and “deeply offended” after being told to get out of the bar, situated on the outskirts of Falkirk.

Mr Monteith, now a security consultant, had dinner in the lounge bar at the Black Bull in Polmont last Friday afternoon with his wife Carolann, two children, and a nephew, before boarding a Rangers supporters bus for the match against Raith Rovers later on.

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He returned to the pub after the game for a couple of pints.

Richard Monteith with the Hackett polo shirt. Picture: Michael Gillen

He was wearing a Hackett “Boat Race” polo shirt, which has a Union Jack design around the underside of the collar that he had turned up.

After taking a sip of his pint he said a member of staff told him to turn down his collar saying it was “offensive” to other customers in the bar.

When he refused he was told to leave.

Mr Monteith, of Shieldhill, Falkirk told the Falkirk Herald: “A Union Jack is not offensive.

“I’ve seen coffins of my mates, men I served with, draped in Union Jacks, I wear it with pride for them, nothing else.

“I live in Britain, it was me who was shocked and deeply offended.

“I’ve served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, losing several friends and colleagues along the way.

“I was told the red, white and blue colours were offensive and then it was the Union Jack itself that was offensive.

“It’s not a football top so I can’t see how it could be anyway, there are Rangers and Celtic tops on the wall in the bar.

“I refused to turn my collar down because it was a matter of principle for me.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous.

“Would a saltire be offensive?”

A spokesperson for the pub said: “We are carrying out an investigation into the allegation, but cannot comment further until we speak to all of the members of staff who were working on Friday evening.”