Careful where you put your flag

Thursday began with a  minor but tangible crisis. Half way through tucking into my morning porridge, I remembered the weekly breakfast club at Cisco’s and the migas taco that would be needing my attention.

What was I to do? I certainly wasn’t going to leave half a bowl of perfectly good porridge go to waste. The end result was I returned from the breakfast club with a stomach straining with porridge and tacos and which meant I didn’t need any lunch until 3 p.m.

Conversation at the gathering included a discussion of the different treatment by the U.S. and the U.K. of their respective national flags.  A friend recommended it as a story pitch to media, but as it probably won’t get anywhere I’ll share here for the benefit of this blog’s fine readership.

In the U.K. the Union flag is rarely flown but you’ll find it adorning everything from boxer shorts to lunch boxes. In the U.S. it’s the other way round, the Stars and Stripes, also known as Old Glory, is flapping in the wind everywhere, from gas stations to car dealerships.

But you certainly won’t find it on underwear or on a door mat as Americans would view both as immensely disrespectful. Certain actions with the flag could result in you becoming a convicted felon.

Each state has its own flag, too, and none are prouder than Texas, the Lone Star State, that remains fiercely independent-minded and flies its state flag as much as the Stars and Stripes.

But it can get confusing. Texans wear shorts emblazoned with the Lone Star Flag but you shouldn’t drape the flag over your desk, for example, as it would be disrespectful to put objects on it.

Does America’s puritanical streak influence decisions on where you can and can’t put state flags or Old Glory—never against naked flesh!? (not helped by the nickname, perhaps.)

Though just as intriguing is the fact Brits are happy to wear the Union flag against their nether regions but rarely display it flying publicly.