Monday, 1 June 2009

Flying the flag

Whilst driving past the Olympic site this weekend, I noticed that the Flag of England is being displayed along with the Union Jack. My first thought was "hmmmm what's that say about the Games". Then quickly thought..."Where are the Flags of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland?"
For me, the flag of England conjures up associations with the Far Right in the UK. This doesn't happen with the Welsh or Scottish flags.
During England world matches, this image does change as I see supporters of all types wearing England t-shirts and flying the flag. However, as those games fade, the negative image seeps back into my consciousness.
As I walk around Plumstead, I occasionally see the flag draped from windows or hung on cars. Do I wrongly assume the bearers are publicising their far right tendencies, or are just proud, but not racist/fascist, nationals?
I hope by the time the Olympics comes to these areas, that the flag will come to be a positive image and represent all the different people that live in Greenwich.

1 comment:

Planet Plumstead said...

It's a shame that the St George Cross has such a negative image. It would take a huge effort and shift in national identity to make people feel comfortable with it again. It would be great if the Olympic authorities could help turn things around. However, your point about displaying all the national flags together would, I feel, be one of the success factors needed because it may help to defuse any feeling of bias. Something that seems to work in the US is the general understanding that anyone can fly their own national flag but they must fly it alongside the American flag. Problem - coming from a very mixed background myself, I definitely don't have room for five flags in my garden!