Whenever in the US I’m always taken aback by how many Stars ‘n’ Stripes there are wherever you happen to be… flying from flagpoles, on almost every uniform from airport cleaners and baggage handlers to police officers, the rear of many everyday citizen’s cars; in fact just about everywhere it is feasible to put the image.
Patriotic, I believe. One thing which always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end is when I hear or see something that makes me proud of my country or the people in it. To me, that means British or English.
So I wholeheartedly agree with the new Prime Minister’s comments that public buildings should fly the Union Flag as a matter of course. But it’s more than just flying a flag, I wish we were more patriotic as a country. I remember attending a baseball game in Baltimore USA last year and when the US national anthem piped up I was struck by the totally genuine starry eyed look on everyone’s faces. Hand on the heart and looking longingly at their flag…. not because it was what everyone expected but because they were genuinely proud and patriotic…. you could just tell. And I think that’s good.
With all the problems (not just terrorism) we have in the UK we could do with more patriotism. Actually I think the majority of people are patriotic…. we just don’t show it. For some bizarre reason, until fairly recently, anyone wanting to fly our national flag needed planning permission. What’s all that about. I’m not sure the PM’s comment about public buildings only being able to fly the Union flag for 18 days a year is correct…. I think it’s more likely to be political correctness gone mad!
So I say yes; let’s fly our flags and let’s be much much more patriotic. I’ll be saying that to those officials responsible for our public buildings (and flagpoles) in Staffordshire.
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