Once again this weekend, London and other parts of the United Kingdom looked resplendent as the nation came together to celebrate another major occasion – this time, the official 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. Horse Guards Parade, The Mall and many streets up and down the country were decked in our nation’s symbol – the Union Flag.
Except that a significant proportion of the 10,000 people lining The Mall were waving sticks bearing the flag upside-down. Leaving aside the fact that this is a recognised distress signal, it was yet another example of ignorance on the part a souvenir industry more intent on making a quick profit than on making a product to acceptable standards.
A lot of those doing the flag-waving may not have noticed the mistake. Sadly, a good many may not even know that there is a right and a wrong way to display the nation’s flag (the broad white diagonal bands should be uppermost at the pole or, in this case, stick). But it’s hardly a new design, and shame on the manufacturers – and the wholesalers and retailers who order the product – for not getting it right after more than 200 years.