The Manx government has taken steps to distance itself from any connection with Rolf Harris in the light of the Australian entertainer’s recent arrest.
The singer is thought to have been inspired by the Isle of Man’s national flag when he wrote the lyrics for his famous song ‘Jake the Peg’.
However a spokesman for the Isle of Man government has denied any link. “The three leg (Trie Cassyn) symbol was adopted by the Isle of Man way back in the thirteenth century and long before Australia was discovered. If anything Rolf Harris was probably inspired by one of the continent’s strange marsupials like the.. er.. three legged kangaroo or Kylie Minogue.”
The Isle of Man tourism office has also reported a drop in sales of souvenirs adorned with the three legged symbol. “Mugs, key rings and birch twig handles are staying on the shelves,” said Phil Quayle from the IoM tourism board. “But old favourites like the 'one legged TT rider snow storm globe' are going well, so we are naturally concerned that something has to be done to get traditional souvenir sales back to their previous levels, otherwise we’ll really be out on a limb.”
In response some souvenir manufacturers and flag makers have added a fourth leg to the famous symbol with mixed reactions.
German tourist Gunther Kreutzer said, “There is something about the new design that I am uncomfortable with, however maybe the extra leg will grow on me, deedle eedle eedle um.”