‘Flags’ the way to do it – or not

I attended both days of this year’s excellent 999 Weekend, but as usual with events arranged with co-operation from Eastbourne Borough Council there are always some bizarre choices of national flags to be seen flying above the marquees around the central arena.

This year I noted the yellow and red Lifeguards flag and that of the RNLI and was pleased that the two Union Flags were flown correctly (i.e. the right way up!), and a French Tricolore was rightly flown in honour of the Gendarmerie presence from across the Channel.

However I was totally mystified by the remaining choices which were the national flags of Portugal, Russia, Latvia and unbelievably Ecuador!

Can whoever at EBC was responsible for the selection of flags please attempt to explain their reasoning?

Or, as I suspect, were there empty flagpoles to fill and so any available flags were used at random, or perhaps because someone thought they looked pretty!

What can we expect to see at Airbourne 2011 in five weeks’ time, I wonder? How about North Korea, Vietnam and Greenland? I will be looking to see.

Correct flag etiquette is to fly the Union Flag plus those of any and all other participating nations, and then flags of participating organisations, but not to display flags of spurious other nations at random!

Last weekend was a missed opportunity to fly side by side the flags of the RNLI, HM Coastguard (now the MCA), Sussex Police, ESFRS, SECAMB, and the White Ensign in honour of the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team and divers.

Why did this not occur to the arena organisers? Each organisation would have been pleased to lend their flag for the two days. What a shame.

Barry Earthrowl

Dudley Road