Monday, May 21, 2012

Head over Heels

The latest upside down flying of the EU flag is brought to us by Sinn Féin in the course of their video advocating a NO vote in the upcoming referendum.

Previous examples have been the French Embassy, the Hungarian Embassy and the EU Commission Office. So we are not without precedents here.

There is no excuse for the precedents, but it is always possible that Sinn Féin have done this on purpose, as flying the flag upside down is an emergency cry for help, at least in the maritime area.

In which case, you saw it here first.


me said...

Seriously? There is no excuse?? I beg to differ. I'm no idiot, but I can't see how anyone would know whether it was upside down or not. And I'm guessing that the vast majority of EU citizens don't know, any more than I do. This is just one of your "things" that you harp on about. Tell me again what makes it upside down, please.

Póló said...


The star is five pointed and so can be flown upside down. One point on top is the right way up; two points on top is upside down. The Star of David is a different story.

I accept that lots of people don't know you can fly the EU flag upside down. People usually just register the circle of stars.

So I would not be surprised if Sinn Féin had this one upside down by accident. I was, however, inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were making a point about the EU in distress.

The precedents I quoted are another matter entirely: they were two EU embassies and the EU Commission itself. No excuse.

I became sensitised to this a long time ago when Ian Paisley criticised the UK Government for flying the Union Jack upside down. Up to then I wouldn't have thought that possible. Subsequently I was working in an area which involved the use of a certain amount of EU signage and was then very conscious of the need to fly the flag the right way up.

However, I can sympathise with those who are unaware of the possibility of flying the EU flag upside down. A certain EU ambassador to Ireland was one such until very recently.

That said, it is not something I lose any sleep over. It has degenerated into a kind of hobby/divarsion at this stage, a bit on the lines of trainspotting or birdwatching.

In fact I have lost respect for many symbols in recent times in direct proportion to that for the people who run the entities concerned.


Anonymous said...

I feel more enlightened. Hadn't realised myself that there was an upsidedown to the EU flag.