Watch: 'Remove the George Cross and relocate colonial monuments'
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Watch: 'Remove the George Cross and relocate colonial monuments'

The British took much more from Malta than the French, historian says

It is time for the Maltese to ditch the misguided celebration of its colonial past and do away with flag insignia and monuments spread across its capital, according to historian Charles Xuereb.

Malta decided to incorporate the George Cross in its flag 75 years ago, 18 months after King George VI awarded the medal to the island for its wartime bravery.

Dr Xuereb sparked controversy recently when he wrote that a war medal should be left in a museum and not marked on a national flag.

The historian and broadcaster upped the ante on Times Talk, saying it was ridiculous that so many monuments and relics of the colonial era still adorned major spots in Valletta. 

"There are about eight larger-than-life stone insignia of the British monarchy around the President's Palace. When the president goes out in the balcony with the prime minister they bow to the British coat of arms. These were 19th century colonial gimmicks," he said.

He rejected comparisons with the many monuments and relics left by the Knights of St John. 

"We were not a colony of the knights. The knights were despots... but they put us on the map."

A well-known Francophile, Dr Xuereb fought off claims that Napoleon pillaged Malta's silver, saying whatever the French took from the island was done legally, as opposed to the British, who "took much more" from the palace without anyone's knowledge.

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