A furious row has erupted after officials unveiled plans to paint the England flag on Big Ben – but the union jack will not be added.
Parliament’s giant clocktower will have the emblem of St George featured prominently after a major renovation programme is finished off.
The move was announced just hours before the England team are due to take on Croatia in the semi final of the World Cup.
The authorities insisted the design is merely returning to the original Victorian colour scheme and that the Scottish thistle, Welsh leek and Northern Irish shamrock symbols will also be present.
The coloured emblems were originally paintedon the Lonodn landmark, but became balckened with the pollution and thhick smog which smothered London during the Victorian times.
It is believed that officials decided to paint the details black in the 1930s or earlier to save on upkeep – and they will be returned to their original glory for the first time in nearly a century.
But the decision drew howls of anger as the union flag does not feature, and nor will the Saltire, or flags representing Wales and Northern Ireland.
SNP MP Pete Wishart added: ‘This is a welcome boost for Scottish independence as Westminster prepares to become an England-only parliament.
‘People will, however, be forgiven for thinking that transition began long ago – as Scotland continues to be sidelined and ignored on the biggest issues facing our country.’
Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member Simon Thomas tweeted: ‘Well that’s certainly telling the rest of us where to go.’
The emblem of England is to be picked out above the clock face on the famous landmark at Westminster as part of a refurbishment. Picture is an artist’s impression of the new look that has been issued by Parliament. The flags are believed to have been originally painted on, but were covered with black paint in the early 20th century after becoming discouloured by smog and pollution
The existing frontage of the tower – with the shields painted black and gold rather than white and red – is being overhauled as part of a huge restoration project
Another artist’s impression released by Parliament today shows the Scottish thistle, Welsh leek and Northern Irish shamrock symbols will also be present on the tower slightly above the St George flags. The details were originally painted on but were also covered in black pain – they will be returned to their former glory for the first time in around a century
Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member Simon Thomas tweeted his irritation at the prominence given to the St George flag
An artist’s impression showing six shields bearing the red and white English national flag above the clock was revealed by the Parliamentary authorities.
The blackened dials of the famous clock will also revert to Prussian blue numbers with gold frames filled with white glass as part of the £61 million renovation of the Elizabeth Tower.
Other areas of black paint around the outside will be gilded. The plan follows modern an