Sunday, 19 August 2012

Flag Etiquette

Image Source

Flags play an important role in national identity. From colours on the battle field, to claiming land or identifying embassies flags continue to play their part. With this in mind I have to admit that one of my pet hates is British people flying the Union Flag upside down.

Flying any flag upside down is inappropriate unless you are in distress, as it represents a direct insult to the nation the flag belongs to.

During the recent bout of national celebration, starting with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and followed by the Olympics, I was dismayed at the number of people carrying flags upside down, particularly the small plastic flags sold on a short stick which had been manufactured incorrectly.

Failure on the flag etiquette was not confined to the crowds and athletes, I noticed that in the main arenas the flags flying around the stadiums and pools were inconsistent in terms of what was construed as up. This showed incompetence and laziness on the part of those that positioned them.

I find it sad that so many people in Britain do not even know that our flag can be hung upside down. To me this is something that should be taught at schools as flags play such an important role in national celebrations and forming national identity. Surely people who go to the length of painting the flag on their faces or carrying a 20 foot mast with a flag on top would prefer to fly it correctly. Anyway enough winging here is my poem;

Flag Etiquette

They stand and wave our flag with glee
these people, so proud of our country.
So proud they fly the Union Flag
upside down, as if it were a rag.

When a flag is inverted
people should be disconcerted.
For it either means they’re in distress,
or they wish an insult to express.

It’s not hard to get it right
It’s all about the amount of white
That sits atop St. Patrick’s Cross
(That’s the red one that goes criss-cross.)

On the side next to the pole
More white should top the red
Which means that at the floppy end
more white should hang below, my friend.

Oh, one other thing – my last;
To fly a flag at half mast,
Just drop it down the flags own height
from the top of the mast, that’s right.

John Carré Buchanan
19 August 2012

2 comments:

  1. Hmmm.....my comments aren't working well tonight. Bad weather = bad connection.

    Anyway, I can't believe they made a blunder with those wee flags people were being sold. That is terrible.

    You're right, it should be taught in schools, so people actually know how our flag should look. To be honest, I would possibly get it wrong myself. Not now though.....I will remember your wonderful poem!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liz, One of my other friends referred to the poem as one of my rants;-) I just feel that it is something so basic everyone should know. I'm glad you like the poem. All the best John

      Delete

I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.

Visitors






Free counters!



Popular Posts

Blogs I Enjoy Following

  • Frog Army - Diane Scantlebury - From the pool And strangely squelching, A dark horde emerge In clinging black suits, Bare feet slip slapping On wet tiled concrete, As they tip water from Th...
    1 day ago
  • EAST MEETS WEST - My recent visit to Northern Ireland was primarily to attend the wedding of my nephew, Simon, to the lovely Kimiko. The happy couple live in London but for ...
    2 days ago
  • The Alley Cat - My latest poem is in the form of a, *Terza Rima* and to the prompt,* Cat*, for Guernsey Poets August open mic evening. *Link to Guernsey Poets* *The Alley ...
    4 days ago
  • Father - *To the face I can’t quite picture* *To the voice I can't quite hear* *To the smile so lost in memory* *To the moments you were near* *These are the though...
    4 weeks ago
  • Vertical Society Bullshit Jungle - Dear Japan I am tired Of vertical society bullshit This place is a jungle Balding managerial lions Lead prides of chuckling hyena recruits To the watering h...
    4 weeks ago
  • Scarborough Fear - If you should go to Scarborough fair There's a field of heather and thyme Where the breeze shall whisper the name Of a girl that used to be mine In this...
    5 weeks ago
  • Memories - I remember after moving here, all the family loved to visit. It was the place to make memories. Paddling in the river. Feeding the ducks. Watching the lam...
    4 months ago
  • Stop, Drop, and Roll - *I didn't realize how long it has been since I have been here to write* *Change often seems to create a sense of suspended animation* *where the outer wor...
    8 months ago
  • This Job, Not That Job - *What I'm reading: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon* *What I'm listening to: Incomplete by James Bay* Isn't it fun to spend your birthday ...
    1 year ago
  • ... gloriously exciting! - There is something gloriously exciting about anticipating ones next Chad assignment, sitting in the back of the relative comfort of seat 34J, the the dron...
    3 years ago
  • Time-Out - Every now and again in life we come across a bump or hurdle. It can come in our relationships, our finances or as in my case, health. Right now I've been...
    3 years ago
  • thumbs up - it was a battle. looking back i don't think we ever had a chance, but you don't just give up on a young man in the prime of his life. we had to try. he ...
    3 years ago