2012 is a great year to be British due to Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Jubilee is a yearlong celebration, not just a one-weekend affair, as many believe. We also have the Olympics, which is also a cause for celebration (for some).
This landmark year has caused many Brits to dust off the bunting and hang out the flags. All very well and good, and bunting is a lovely way to show patriotism without going down the tacky plastic car flag route. What is not so pleasing is the fact that clearly no one in Britain realises that there is a correct way to fly our national flag.
Stoke-on-Trent train station, a pub in Manchester, the International Conference Centre in Birmingham, Harrod’s (no less): all places that have made a bit of a flag faux pas.
In the nautical world, flying a flag upside down is a sign to other ships that your ship is in distress.
Here is the dummies’ guide to Union Flag protocol. Someone please pass it along to Harrod’s.
- When being flown from a flagpole, the thicker white band is in the top left hand corner
- When being flown on its side (as with bunting) then, again, the thicker white band goes to the top left section of the flag
- Flags (in general) are hoisted briskly at sunrise, and lowered slowly at sunset
- If you are leaving a flag flying at night it must be illuminated