A flag turned upside down
Senior DUP members in London this week. Photograph: Akmentolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images
Sir, – Frank McNally’s fascinating history of the Union Jack mentioned the “white to the right” mnemonic for teaching scouts and guides how to fly the flag the right way up (An Irishman’s Diary, December 9th).
When I did my national service back in the 1950s, the British army version was: “The thickest to the staff at the top – just like the War Office”. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – While suffering from a bout of man-flu the other day, I spent more than my usual time watching the Brexit developments on the BBC news and parliamentary channels.
For that reason I can explain to Frank McNally that the union and EU flags pictured behind the DUP members were being waved by an anti-Brexit protester, who presumably intended to have the union flag upside down as a sign of distress.
What I also found illustrative was that when Sylvia Hermon, the independent unionist MP, was making an emotional appeal in the House of Commons to protect the Belfast Agreement, the DUP members in her vicinity displayed an unpleasant range of smirks and self-satisfied displays of disinterestedness, except when it suited them to interrupt her flow with petty points of order.
Mind you, I would expect no less from a party which is keen to express its shared credentials with the rest of the UK except where there are one billion reasons to be different, each of them being worth £1. – Yours, etc,