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The PM who loves his country so much that he will sit oblivious in front of an upside down Union Flag.

Yup, the one, the only James Gordon Brown. I spotted this during a news report on the UK-China business summit, and thought about waiting for the news cycle to click round and then photograph it, but life is too short, and I have found the evidence here, here and here. Peter Mandelson can't spot an upside down Union Flag either. Nor can Miliband.

By all accounts Getty Images are a bit keen on protecting their copyrights, and I do not feel like forking out £39 for short term rights in order to fend of the doubtless insatiable greed of its lawyers. If I can snag a photo from elsewhere, I will add it in.

And care of a suggestion by a thoughtful anon in the comments, I have taken a screen grab from the BBC's video clip on the events:

For those unversed in these things, the Union Flag, correctly flown, has the top left part of the cross of St Patrick in the lower part of the cross of St Andrew, owing to the Caledonians having seniority over the Hibernians. Visuals here.

One might note that an upside down flag is a distress signal.

Now on the front page of the BBC's news site, not that I am credited with the spot. Bah.

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Blogger Obnoxio The Clown said... 9:53 pm

One might note that an upside down flag is a distress signal.

That's why he didn't try to change it.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:01 pm

But Gordon has told us everything is cool and groovy, and I'm sure he believes it even if no-one else does.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:11 pm

You can watch the BBC news item on the web and capture the image from there  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:26 pm

Anon - quick thinking. Thank you.  

Blogger Henry North London said... 10:43 pm

actually its a sign of surrender

Bugger the man  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:32 am

Wikipedia (if it is correct) says that would be the correct way up when the flagpole is to the right. - So from the perspective of those sitting at the desk it would be correct.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:18 am

I've never understood how an upside-down union flag could possibly be used as a distress signal.

Let's face it, it's hardly the most obvious thing and as you can see it's very easily done in error.  

Anonymous talwin said... 8:30 am

Anonymous 12.32 am

It's the wrong way up whichever way you look at it.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:43 am

Flying the Union flag upside down (on a flagpole) by mistake is actually very difficult. There is a loop at the top and a toggle at the bottom (or possibly the other way around - long time since I was in the Scouts). Thus, the rope itself would have to be threaded the wrong way round.

Since this flag was probably made in China anyway, should we be surprised?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:25 am

The inversion is judged by the position of the saltires relative to the pole end of the flag, not a straight left-right.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:28 am

Gordon Brown is a pathetic failure who needs to be removed from power but please don't let Britain descend into the same madness as the USA where things like flags, and their correct way of flying and folding, are important. That's just being as pathetic as Brown.  

Blogger Anonymous said... 9:39 am

As this particular 'flag' consists of printed paper rather than woven cloth, it is not impossible that it's correct on one side and wrong on the other. I believe this is the recognised international symbol for incompetence. When flown from the mizzen it means 'we're going down, come aboard'.  

Anonymous Whiffler said... 9:56 am

The reason the Union Flag is not symetrical is because the Admiralty had to approve it for use on warships (on a Jack staff - when it becomes known as the Union Jack). Various designs were reviewed before this was selected.

The bit abot seniority of Porridge-Wogs over Murphies is hogwash.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:00 am

So the flag's upside down, so what. I among many would never have noticed and will not outraged because someone's drawn attention to the fact. Now if you're a brown basher, it might be different for you  

Blogger podsticles said... 11:48 am

It's NOT upside down as HE'S looking at it! The Chinese flag is also normal as the Chinese minister is looking at it, but is reversed for us. You have tried so hard to prove an error that isn't actually there!  

Blogger Anonymous said... 11:59 am


If the image on the reverse corresponds exactly with the image on the front, then it is wrong from either side. The broad white strip should be above the red stripe in the top corner adjacent to the flagstaff. It can only look correct from the other side if the printed image is different (as I posted at 9.39). But we can't see it.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:05 pm

Anon - Exactly. The Stars and Stripes will always have the stars by the hoist (flagpole) and the same principle applies to the Union Flag.  

Blogger Anonymous said... 12:55 pm

Furthermore, in 1979 Ian Paisley was the first MEP to speak in the European Parliament with his protest: 'the flag of my country is flying upside down'. The Europeans have got it right ever since.  

Anonymous Chris H said... 4:32 pm

Even though Gordon seems to know very little about the country he tries to rule, someone there must have noticed this. I bet his underlings were too scared to tell him!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:41 pm

Chris - I would have thought those places were crawling with protocol flunkeys, so I find it appalling that those individuals did not spot the howler.  

Blogger Gooey Blob said... 5:55 pm

Perhaps it was deliberate. I could be wrong, but don't satanists worship an upside-down crucifix?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:19 pm

Over at Anorak they are suggesting that it was Mandelson's diabolical powers that turned it upside down.  

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