Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Flagging Interest.

Flying the Union flag upside down, like at the Sino-British summit, is supposedly a sign of distress. Isn't it kind of a rubbish distress signal seeing as almost no one notices that it isn't the right way up, at least until the pedants get to work? Even then most assume that the person flying the flag has simply made a mistake, not that there is some crisis going on.

5 comments:

MattLondon said...

Well, it's a Naval/marine convention and the flag flown upside down would be the White - or Red Ensign - offering a clearer distress signal.

Ross said...

That makes more sense. Does the upside down flag convention apply to any flag then, not just the Union flag?

MattLondon said...

Not sure - think it was general BUT there's a bit in a Patrick O'Brien novel (and his stories generally have a factual background) about a British warship being captured by the frogs in (?)1802, who put the ensign up upside down to signify it had been captured - and boatloads of British sailors rowed over, thinking it was a distress signal, and got captured themselves - so obviously always scope for misunderstanding!

Blognor Regis said...

Couldn't help but smirk at some strikers at that refinery who'd written a "British Jobs for British workers" type slog on an upside down flag. Patriots then.

Ross said...

The flag was probably made in China too.