Outrage as Cunard ships stop use of British flag

by Alister POOLE on October 24, 2011

After much debate, historical cruise line Cunard announced today that its ships are no longer going to sail under the British flag.

Cunard’s three ships, with iconic red funnels, are going to be registered in Bermuda so weddings can be held on them, something not allowed under UK law. This means that Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria will no longer brandish the Union Jack, though they will be able to make sure the Red Ensign, which the Overseas Territory uses as its national flag.

Due to being registered for operating in Bermuda, the ships won’t longer have Southampton painted on their stern, and instead will display the capital of Bermuda’s name Hamilton. Already, critics have questioned whether or not Cunard should be able to call itself British anymore. The cruise line is owned by American outfit Carnival Corporation and won’t longer have one single ship registered in Britain.

Busy on the discussion boards of cruisecritic.co.uk, users bemoaned the changes which mean that the ships can generate more revenue by offering lucrative weddings at sea. One user, Peppernn, wrote that it is sincerely hoped that ‘Southampton’ will appear across Cunard’s three ships and it will be an incredibly sad day and another indication of the decline of the line if removed.

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