Home SPORT Harvey Elliott appears to hide England flag while debuting new kit for Under-21s

Harvey Elliott appears to hide England flag while debuting new kit for Under-21s

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Harvey Elliott appears to hide England flag while debuting new kit for Under-21s

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Harvey Elliott appeared to cover the controversial England flag while debuting the new kit as the Under-21s swept aside Azerbaijan 5-1.

Nike and the FA have been widely criticised for changing the colours of the St George’s Cross on the new strip.

Elliott played with his collar up, hiding the controversial flag on the back of the neck

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Elliott played with his collar up, hiding the controversial flag on the back of the neckCredit: Getty

Prime minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer are among the dissenting voices, while talkSPORT has heard countless complaints from ex-players, pundits and fans.

Liverpool midfielder Elliott became the first player to score in the newly-released kit, breaking the deadlock in the 25th minute of the Euro 2025 qualifier.

Goals from Chelsea winger Noni Madueke, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Jaden Philogene put England into a commanding position before Elliott grabbed his second of the game and Archie Gray wrapped up proceedings two-minutes from time.

However, Elliott’s apparent attempt to cover the contentious multi-coloured flag could yet become the main talking point of what was accomplished performance from the Young Lions.

The 20-year-old appeared to cover up the flag with his collar during the clash, an approach not adopted by his teammates.

Elliott’s actions are likely to spark further debate around the adapted flag although Nike have communicated that the design will not be changed.

The kit has caused tension and division since its release on Monday due to Nike and the FA’s decision to alter the colours of the St George’s Cross.

Calls to change the kits are seemingly falling on deaf ears after an FA statement released on Friday appeared to double down on their decision to alter the flag.

The statement read: “The new England 2024 Home kit has a number of design elements which were meant as a tribute to the 1966 World Cup winning team. The coloured trim on the cuffs is inspired by the training gear worn by England’s 1966 heroes, and the same colours also feature on the design on the back of the collar. It is not the first time that different coloured St George’s cross-inspired designs have been used on England shirts.

“We are very proud of the red and white St George’s cross – the England flag. We understand what it means to our fans, and how it unites and inspires, and it will be displayed prominently at Wembley tomorrow – as it always is – when England play Brazil.”

Elliott was on target twice against Azerbaijan but will make the headlines for reasons other than his goals

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Elliott was on target twice against Azerbaijan but will make the headlines for reasons other than his goalsCredit: Getty
England U21s were the first to play in the new-look England kit

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England U21s were the first to play in the new-look England kitCredit: Getty

Former England goalkeeper’s David Seaman and Peter Shilton have spoken out on their disappointment at the colour change while talkSPORT’s Jamie O’Hara also vented his fury.

Seaman told talkSPORT Breakfast: “It’s not broken, it doesn’t need fixing! What’s next, are we going to change the three lions to three cats? Leave it alone!”

“Leave it alone, you know. I’m sure, if they’d have approached the lads and asked them about it, they would’ve said no.

“I just don’t know how far down the line it goes before it gets past. Just leave it alone!”

Meanwhile, talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan added fuel to the fire when asked his thoughts on the kit.

David Seaman says his England team would’ve refused to wear the new Nike kit with updated flag

“I don’t understand why we need a playful interpretation of our national flag,” he said.

“I don’t want to get into the hysteria and hyperbole that other people are talking about. But I don’t quite understand what we’re trying to achieve here, it’s part of our national identity.

England’s current crop have remained tight-lipped so far with the exception of Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane and Alessio Russo who have all given the thumbs up to the new design.

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