Flying the Flag

There has been a recent trend which was originally confined to the United States, but has now been adopted by other countries including Australia.

All countries that have a canton on their flag display it in the top left hand corner of their flag.

Countries such as the US and Australia traditionally fly their cantons in the top left hand corner of their flag, then when America entered the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, they were faced with the issue of how to display their flag on uniforms.

All armies in the world display their country flag on their left shoulder, except the US army which displays its flag on the right. Americans display their regiment on their left shoulder.

This means that as Americans have been fighting along side other forces, as they advance, their flag, displayed on their right shoulder, looks as if they are running away.

As opposed to changing the arm upon which they wear their flag, someone in the US army public relations department recognised this problem, and devised the idea, that when the American flag is being flown on the right hand side, it should be shown as if it is fluttering in the wind during an advance, which means that it is shown as if the flagpole is to the front of the soldier. This would place the canton in the top right hand corner with the field on the left.

The decision also now sees the US flag displayed in this manner if the flag is displayed hanging vertically.

This way of displaying the US flag on the right hand side has now become prominent throughout their society on departmental car doors and the like. It has also been displayed on tv networks and in public places, so now the American public are accustomed to seeing their own flag displayed incorrectly.

This idea breaks with all international protocols and traditions, however with the diplomatic consent other countries this new flag protocol for the US is now recognised by other countries.

Unfortunately another country which does not appear to have the wherewithal or confidence in its own flag protocols has followed the bad example of a country making up its own rules.

I was watching the news on SBS only to see the Australian flag displayed in a banner form with the canton in the top left corner.

Whereas the US flag can get away with being hung the wrong way around, the Australian flag has the British Union Flag incorporated within it and that can not be hung incorrectly.

As we are all aware the British flag is not asymmetric, and therefore can not be reversed without consequence.

The protocols behind hanging the British flag as a banner are very specific, and not subject to interpretation. It is only to rotate it clockwise by ninety degrees.

When Australia hangs its flag incorrectly as a banner, it also hangs the British flag incorrectly and this is unacceptable.

This article is a prelude to an open letter that I shall publish directed at news stations, councils and government bodies reminding them of the implications of incorrectly displaying the Australian flag and by inclusion the British flag.

Before I publish this letter I would like to hear your opinions on this issue of the flags and how their display affects your national pride.

What are your thoughts?

I am listening.


~ by jeditopcat on 29 May, 2011.

One Response to “Flying the Flag”

  1. .. but it’s not so much the British flag incorporated within the Australian flag… it IS the Australian flag (if you see what I mean ?). They can therefore do what the hell they like with it !
    Other than that I know absolutely nothing about flags – very interesting though ..
    I thank you.

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