Go fix your flags!

The red, white and blue of our Union flag was imprinted upon my brain at an early age. I was nearly four when Elizabeth Regina went to collect her crown. Though the event was televised – we all had to view the images in black and white.


We didn’t have a television – there was only one in our whole street – but l was given a Coronation Book as a memento – and that was in glorious colour.

Pages and pages of ceremonial and flag fluttering – all reinforced by this little boy (and his elder sister) being taken to a Coronation Fete in the village in which we spent our early lives.

A field bedecked with red white and blue bunting – as was the commemorative spoon we were each given. A bow of patriotic ribbon tied at the handle end of each utensil.

The spoon has disappeared from my life – as has the dark-blue, hard-back-covered coronation book – but the pride in our country’s flag lived on. That is – until the result of the EU referendum was given.

The Union flag that was once proudly flown in our back garden.

I went straight out into the garden and lowered the Union flag that had fluttered over our part of Lower Swainswick ever since I’d erected a proper 30-foot high flagpole. It went straight into the dustbin.

However, I wasn’t going to waste my investment and – besides – the pole was set in concrete. So l turned to the county in which l had been born.

The county flag of Somerset.

Somerset adopted the flag of its county council back in 2013 – after a competition to design one resulted in a winning design that basically just did away with the mace – the symbol of the county council’s authority.

So the red dragon of Somerset – on its sunshine yellow background – unfurls in the winds above the houses and fields of our neighbourhood.

It will be replaced on May 9th to celebrate Europe Day – with the circle of stars that still holds my heart.


I like flags. That’s the reason l noticed the poor showing a Union flag and the flag of B&NES were making on top the Guildhall.

The Union flag on the Guildhall

At first l though the national flag had been cut in two but realised the end had caught on the flagpole. The other lag is just faded and tattered.

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The B&NES flag is nothing to be proud of either!

Though l first raised this over a week ago. The Union flag is still caught. Apparently the Council – because of health and safety issues – has to pay a firm to come and raise and lower their flags. Obviously, they are reluctant to spend any extra to release the caught edge of the fabric.

Maybe we could launch a city-wide appeal to raise the money to get both flags lowered and replaced with new and brighter versions.

The flag of St George on top Bath Abbey is past its best too!

While we are at it – our local authority isn’t the only ‘body’ that should look to its colours. The English flag of St George – on top Bath Abbey tower – is also shredded and past its best.

Symbols are important. These are devices that bring us together under a shared heritage.

PS. That’s better Bath Abbey. Un-shredded Union flag flying above the church tower on Sunday, March 11th!