The RAC Foundation has rejected claims from some safety and motoring groups that flying the flag on vehicles is dangerous.

The RAC Foundation’s consultant psychologist, Conrad King, claims: “Contrary to adverse publicity about flying the flag we believe that drivers safely flying the flag show a better sense of pride in themselves, their vehicle and their country. This gives many drivers a sense of mutuality, which is seldom seen in motoring. You might see it in classic car owners but now we are experiencing white van man bonding with Mondeo man. Flying the flag can lead to a common bond and common aspirations. This has got to be good for road safety.”

“Flying the flag can reduce road rage as there is evidence that flag fliers let others pull out and they are more forgiving if they make a mistake. Road rage tends to occur more in hot weather so perhaps the common bonding and feel good factor from flying the flag will be reflected in better road manners during Euro 2004.”

Edmund King, Executive Director of the RAC Foundation said: “The vast majority of flag fliers are not obscuring windscreens or causing a danger to pedestrians or cyclists. Most are using small lightweight clip on flags that cause no obstruction or danger. It is good to see so many motorists expressing their feelings on the road in a positive manner rather than reverting to road rage. We are delighted that motorists are getting behind the England team.”