Empire cartoon

Brian Monteith (Perspective, 17 February) refers to the ­description of the Union flag as the Butcher’s Apron. It is my ­impression that this description first arose among those who ­approved of British imperialism, in a cartoon in the respectable ­London Magazine.

The cartoon showed John Bull as a butcher, standing in front of his shop, knife in hand, bulldog at his feet, wearing an apron made of the Union flag. It is hardly surprising that those who disapproved of ­Empire then started to use this description.

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But Brian may know better – perhaps the cartoon ­followed the description.

David Stevenson

Edinburgh