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Oh Tempora! Oh Mores! Again...

The BBC website has a photo set up featuring British football fans visiting Dachau. A worthy endeavour on the BBC's part, and indeed on the part of the visitors. However, the visitors pictured deemed it appropriate to wear their football shirts.

It is unrealistic to expect people to dress as for a funeral, but did none of them hear an inner voice suggesting that they might dress in a way that would show just a little more respect for the dead?

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Blogger barbara worth said... 8:34 am

Hello C

Yes, I shared your irritation about this. For some reason the St George Cross wreath provoked a particularly Meldrew like reaction ("Unbelievable! Why does absolutely everything -including six million dead-have to be about s*dding football and Ingerland?")

A little reflection brought the following:

Firstly, I need to acknowledge a bit of racial prejudice here! I'm half Welsh and half English and I'm perfectly happy with gratuitous waving of the red dragon (and even, perhaps naively, think that no self-respecting Welshman would wear his rugby strip in a concentration camp).

Secondly, I have always thought that George Cross waving was the preserve of young, white, working class men (possibly with BNP leanings). However, in the past few days I have seen the following drivers with flags: middle aged black man, driver of a Porsche Cayenne (no idea of age/gender/colour as it had tinted windows), my very middle class and middle aged friend who has them on her Mercerdes (she does admittedly have sons) and a younger female friend who is divorced and has no sons.

So as ever, I am concluding that I am out of step with the Zeitgeist on St George flags- but I still can't imagine circumstances in which it would be appropriate to wear football strip to a concentration camp. Would it be too wingnut seeming to wonder whether al-Beeb suggested the whole thing to these people (though of course they didn't have to go along with it?)  



Blogger Croydonian said... 10:24 am

Barbara,

I've no objection to a bit of flag waving every once in a while, or come to that, the sporting of England football shirts, but it is a question of when and where is appropriate.

I've also noticed a lot more black and asian folk flying the flag or sporting shirts this time than last, which at the very least must irk the likes of the BNP, Column 88 etc etc. In these parts a favoured move for people with mixed loyalties seems to be to have two: say Ghana plus England, or in one of my other stamping grounds - Clapham - England plus Portugal. Or maybe the English flag is there as a way to ward off bricks through the windscreen

Similarly, in one of P.J O'Rourke's books he berates his fellow Americans for thinking it suitable to wear Mickey Mouse t-shirts, shorts and baseball caps etc when visiting that nation's most solemn monuments. Maybe that was a bit over prissy of him, but it is a telling observation.

They do say that hypocrisy is the hommage vice pays to virtue, which perhaps explains why I as an agnostic feel a little uncomfortable about people taking photographs and filming inside churches during weddings, baptisms and so forth. Hopefully not funerals, although I would not be surprised if that happens too. Sigh....  



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