Flying the Flag

There’s a current trend of flying the flag by government ministers, in the background of video calls on news broadcasts (for example), and in the order to fly the Union Jack on official buildings.

My feeling is that it demonstrates a fragile and insecure patriotism, because it devalues the times when it’s currently used to celebrate achievements and special days. You can be patriotic without flying the flag every day.

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with flying the flag per se, the problem I (and many others) have is that the government appear to be doing it for political reasons. When the flag is used in this contrived way it will inevitably lead to division, because the purpose of a flag is to unite. It simply highlights the divisions that already exist within the Union.

Twitter (as always) has a perfect hashtag for what the government is doing, but I’m not going to share it here!

2 thoughts on “Flying the Flag

  1. I have always taken the view that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, nothing I have experienced in life has shaken that view, It seems that those who try to cloak themselves in the flag are doing so to hide something unsavoury.
    Patriotism is not about flags or parades but about how we treat our fellow countrymen, no true patriot should let a child go hungry or accept people having to sleep on the streets.
    When we have looked after all of our people, ended poverty and homelessness, then would be time to dig out the flags but I suspect by then the moths would have eaten them.
    I am also reminded of this:
    Put Out More Flags, the sixth novel by Evelyn Waugh, was first published by Chapman and Hall in 1942. The title comes from the saying of an anonymous Chinese sage, quoted and translated by Lin Yutang in The Importance of Living (1937):

    “A man getting drunk at a farewell party should strike a musical tone, in order to strengthen his spirit … and a drunk military man should order gallons and put out more flags in order to increase his military splendour.”

    Dedicated to Randolph Churchill, who found a service commission for Waugh during the Second World War, the story is set in the first year of the war.

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