We at The Political Medway need time to drink these coffees that some of you wonderful people have bought us, and sometimes there’s a topic that we don’t want to look up on Wikipedia. Either way, we return to a series of Guest Posts..
We didn’t think much of this update from Medway Tories. Until we saw this tweet..
But even then, our interest was only piqued by this exchange..
So we asked him to write for us about flags.
For many a flag is just a rag on a pole, a symbol of an old Imperial past, almost anachronistic but to others it holds an almost sacred respect.
British military history is rife with examples of bravery to save the Monarch’s Colours from falling to the ground or into enemy hands. A local example is the bravery of Lieutenant Latham of the East Kent regiment who was severely wounded by French Hussars at the Battle of Albuera defending the Union flag.
Lieutenants Coghill and Melvill futilely raced through a sea of Zulus at Isandalwana with the South Wales Borderer’s regimental and Royal colours – both were given posthumous Victoria Crosses.
The last stand of the Essex regiment at Gandamakin Afghanistan saw Captain Souter wrap himself in the flag to save it.
What is wrong in the Medway Conservatives Tweet?
British Flag etiquette has always been clear:
The Union flag must never touch the ground
What is flag etiquette?
It is the correct procedure and rules for the treatment and display of any nation’s flag. Most of these rules have been around for centuries, passed down from military traditions and handed over to civilian usage. The Government statute on flying flags comes under the Town and country planning regulation of 2007 and further regulated by the Department for Communities and local Government pamphlet “Plain English guide to flying flags”.
Although no one officially polices the rules and violations for misdemeanours like this will raise no more than a tut if that.
If it is being lowered in salute of a monarch or the nation’s fallen; but it must never besoiled with the wet or mud. As soiling the flag obviously can damage it and shorten its lifespan.
The flag is only lowered on the order of the Parade Officer Commanding, often to the sound of a bugle.
As a rule the flag must be flown or draped.
I can only assume the flag is present at the opening event, in some sort of faux patriotic demonstration, a trend that is becoming more prevalent these days.
The Union flag is not only touching the ground, it is draped so poorly it could be a tea towel on a washing line!
To cap it off it also appears to be upside down;
As the Hoist (edge that should be nearest the pole indicates by the presence of eyelets) is in the lower right hand of the picture.
If the eyelets were big the only way to tell if the flag is upside down is if the St Patrick’s saltire is higher up on the left hand side (closest to the flagpole). Thankfully in this case the eyelets make this a lot easier to identify.
Although not, as some have suggested, a treasonous offence, it is a world recognised sign of distress especially in Maritime-circles where it was used to signal “Ship in peril”.
Flying the flag inverted is at best a faux pas and at worst deeply disrespectful.
For a party who oft appears in the news talking 0f British values, British interests, British passports etc. I find it odd that not one of those senior ranking Conservatives has noticed the disrespect being shown to our Nation’s flag.
Mark my words: Disrespect the flag, disrespect the country.
It is not the place of this impartial local politics blog to comment on the disrespect shown to our nations flag by the treasonous Medway Conservatives.
Comment below, tweet here or FB post “Lock Them Up” so that maritime justice can be served.