During the early 1960s, the most prevalent image in London was of the Union Jack, which found its way onto every kind of accessory, from mugs to badges to shopping bags.
In 1968, a few weeks after devaluation, Harold Wilson launched the “I’m Backing Britain” campaign.
A group of Surbiton secretaries began it all when they worked an extra half an hour a day for free (at a firm called Colt Heating) and many thousands followed their lead in the face of great opposition from Trade Unions.
The media and establishment picked up their idea. Robert Maxwell took out ads in the papers and people were encouraged to sport T-shirts and badges emblazoned with “I’m Backing Britain” over a union jack.
The Duke of Edinburgh even lent his support. The campaign was made that much easier because the pound now bought less overseas.
Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent even penned a song for Bruce Forsyth with the following lyrics:
I’m backing Britain, yes I’m backing Britain
We’re all backing Britain today
The feeling is growing so let’s keep it going
The good times are blowing our way
Unfortunately the campaign lost some of its momentum when it was discovered that a batch of T-shirts bearing the “I’m Backing Britain” slogan had been manufactured in Portugal.