Friday, 19 September 2014

Buy a BIG Union flag today!

One thing that struck me about the the Scotshambles was the poor quality of the Saltire flags being exhibited. They were for the most part horrid, thin, cheap printed things that would survive for all of five minutes at the top of a Scots flagpole.

For a decent flag, it needs to be sewn. And sewn from MOD grade all-weather polyester. I'd suggest the minimum size you can get away with is a 2 yard - perfect for hanging from the roof or as a fashionable evening Pashmina for the 'Memsahib. Anything smaller is, frankly, a signal that you're a wimpish eunuch. The Dutch, of course, consider anything less than a 3-yard to be a joke. The rule for a Dutch yacht is that the tip of the ensign should be 1cm above the water when hanging limp. 

Just to confuse things, Union flags come in two aspect ratios; the standard 1:2 for we wet types, and the slightly squarer 3:5 version favoured by the brown jobs. Here's a quick price comparison for (as far as I can tell) like-for-like 2-yard sewn MOD poly flags;

Navy 1:2 vers. Army 3:5 vers

91cm x 183cm 91cm x 152cm
Hampshire Flag Co £54.50 £54.50
Easyflag co £46.00 £44.00
JW Plant £53.88 NA
Flying Colours £53.00 NA
South Coast Flagpoles £54.00 £47.50
Mr Flag £56.40 NA

So go on. Spend £50 today on a flag you can fly (or wear) with pride ...
(Uhm and please avoid the solecism of exhibiting an ensign - any ensign - on land)


Anonymous said...

In the US you can hardly move without seeing the Old Glory. As far as I am aware, it is against the law to fly the Union Flag without permission.

Perhaps one day we will change it for the old Three Lions, which we had long before the St George Cross.

Raedwald said...

As far as I'm aware, the only 'restricted' flags in the UK are marine ensigns; to wear a blue one needs a special permit, and the red one is governed by the Merchant Shipping Act.

The Union Flag can be flown anywhere by any person at any time; it is exempt from planning regs for flagpoles up to 4m

And yes I'm plugging the Union flag precisely because banners such as the 3 leopards (they're really not lions) hint at a balkans-type nationalism I think we should avoid

Ed P said...

Don't Easyflag just make orange ones?

Demetrius said...

Personally, I like my White Dragon. which I used to fly in the Arena at the Last Night of the Proms.

Anonymous said...

anon. it's not illegal to fly a union flag but in circumstances you may need planning permission to erect the flag pole

DeeDee99 said...

If I bought any flag, it would now be a Cross of St George.

The union is effectively dead.

Anonymous said...

Demetrius said @ 18:02

'Personally, I like my White Dragon. which I used to fly in the Arena at the Last Night of the Proms.'

Good man, was that you flying the same flag right in front of Debbie Harry (Blondie) at Glastonbury this year?

p.s. I flew a 3-yard Wessex wyvern (gold two legged dragon) from an 8-yard mast at a large Englisc folcmoot we had in Wiltshire this summer.


anon 2 said...

The rule for a Dutch yacht is that the tip of the ensign should be 1cm above the water when hanging limp. Well, they must have a lot of wet rags then! Anyway, what have the Dutch to do with the State of the Union?

Pity the table has to be in foreign measurements - thank you, Radders et al., for explaining things in English :)

Personally, I put my smaller Union Flag on the car dashboard today: it's the one I bought when I went to see HM and Prince Philip on their visit to Glasgow, a few years ago. Congratulations to them today, btw.

And I wear my St. George's Cross (a brooch) at every reasonable opportunity --- like this week :))

Anonymous said...

I will endorse the Hampshire Flag Company. The 3 yard St George Cross flag that I bought to drape over my Dad's coffin was (and still is) excellent. And like anon2 he always (always!) wore a St. George cross brooch.

Coney Island

G. Tingey said...


I started using what was then called the mks (metre-kilogram-second) system of units in 1961.
You will find that engineers & scientists use what is now called;

Everywhere, everywhen.

It makes communications simpler.Unlike the idiot Yanks who smashed up at least one expensive spacecraft, because they did not standardise.
[ Oh & no jibes about "pints" please - I'm well-aware of that one, & that many German 500-ml steins are brim-measure pints (568ml, ahem. )

Can you explain?
I've recently seen boats (not ocean/sea-going) flying the Union flag with a white border from the "bowsprit/foremast" pole?

Raedwald said...

Greg - This is the Civil Jack, for Merchant ships, and is intended to be flown when in harbour from the jackstaff; it's the civilian equivalent of the un-bordered jack worn by warships when at anchor or in harbour.

Mostly now I think flown by small motor boats ... on the non-tidal Thames ;)

Anonymous said...

wrt Lions and leopards.

The Oxford Guide to Heraldry makes little mention of leopards but glosses leopard as a "term used in medieval heraldry for lion passant guardant. Now used for the natural beast."

Sackerson said...

Your glad of your "gangrenous foot" after all, then?

Raedwald said...

Sackerson - strong antibiotics may hold the infection at bay - if so, we look better with two than with a single foot, even though it pains us grievously ...

Leopards; perhaps we should bowdlerize 'seven ages' and instead of 'bearded like the pard' use 'bearded like the lion' ;)

Antonia Fraser explains at some length in her Wellington biography that the Kermits certainly revelled in calling the English 'leopards' after the heraldic beasts on the flag; leopards were dirty, eaters of carrion, scavengers, and wholly unlike the noble lion.

Like our soldiers of the time, I rather enjoy being a leopard rather than a lion; the sneaky leopards, after all, beat the crap out of the proud eagles.

G. Tingey said...

In Wellington's biography, by Eliz Longford (A distant relative, of course) she made much of the "leopards" bit.
Apparently, Nosey himself, who appears to have been the inventor of the sound-bite, revelled in it, & turned it against Boney.

G. Tingey said...

Err ... just realised.
Don't the RN fly the WHITE ENSIGN over their land-bases?

Mind you, I'd hate to be caught flying that particular flag, without proper permissions!

Raedwald said...

Greg - Well spotted; I meant Elizabeth Longford, of course

And I don't think the RN has any land-bases; they call them 'shore establishments' and name them like ships; Whale Island, where generations of sailors learned gunnery is HMS Excellent and of course in Suffolk we had HMS Ganges - actually a village outside Ipswich. It causes some confusion amongst foreigners ...

G. Tingey said...

That's what I meant ...
The White Ensign is flown over shore establishments ( = "Land Bases" )
Terminology cock-up!

Yes, I have both volumes of the Longford/Pakenham bio of "Nosey"

Anonymous said...

In addition to the RN flying ensigns at 'shore establishments' I can think of quite a few yacht clubs that do the same