Media: Zeitgeist - England becomes a nation of flag-wavers as patriotic fans gear up for Euro 2004

Sociologists across the country have been noting the emergence of a strange new phenomenon - an alarming rash of white-and-red flags. Some observers maintain they have seen this sort of thing before but nothing compared with this latest outbreak. Almost everyone seems to have draped one from their windowsill at home or from their desk at work. The real aficionados have two -one attached to each rearside window of their souped-up hatchbacks. Public houses, in particular, seem to have gone for this form of adornment in a big way.

No-one can say for sure what this is all about, though it could be something to do with, say, a sporting event. The England cricket XI has been performing particularly handsomely in recent weeks.

If you find yourself strangely drawn to the idea of wrapping yourself in a flag and consuming liberal quantities of strong lager, please remember that professional help is always available.

The phenomenon flag brandishing

Begins on ITV at 7.45pm this Sunday with a battle against the French

Ends in a rematch against France in the final on 4 July.

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