Thousands of European flags waved at Last Night of the Proms thanks to anti-Brexit campaigners

PUBLISHED: 19:59 14 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:28 15 September 2019

European flags flown at Last Night of the Proms. Photograph: BBC.

European flags flown at Last Night of the Proms. Photograph: BBC.

Archant

The BBC was forced to broadcast scenes of Last Night of the Proms attendees waving European flags after anti-Brexit campaigners handed out thousands.

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Pro-European berets at the front of the crowds at Last Night of the Proms. Photograph: BBC.Pro-European berets at the front of the crowds at Last Night of the Proms. Photograph: BBC.

The EU Flags Proms Team first organised the stunt in 2016 after millionaire Brexit donor Arron Banks paid thousands of pounds to have union flags handed out.

The pro-EU campaigners have hailed this year's event their most success yet by handing out 50,000 flags in all parts of the United Kingdom - including Swansea, Glasgow, Belfast and London.

The Remain campaigners claimed a publicity victory in 2017 when BBC television pictures showed a sea of blue and gold stars at the traditionally patriotic event.

It provoked Nigel Farage to angrily tweet complaining that the concertgoers who waved the flags were in denial about Brexit.

At a Eurovision event earlier in the year the BBC prompted a backlash after it banned attendees from waving European flags - replacing them with union flags instead.

Now in its fourth year the campaigners have doubled the quantity of flags they have given away.

Kate Hobbs, of the EU Flags Proms Team, said she hoped the flags would be a "timely reminder" to the audience that music is a "universal language which unites people".

A spokesperson added: "We were keen to demonstrate that it is possible to be patriotic at the same time as maintaining a European and internationalist identity."

European flags at the Last Night of the Proms. Photograph: BBC.European flags at the Last Night of the Proms. Photograph: BBC.

Campaigners at the Royal Albert Hall event also brought with them full-sized European flags to drape over the balconies and handed out blue and yellow berets as part of the efforts.

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