Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Protocol of Flags

Published 30 August 2010
International Customs
Source: theenglishmanner.wordpress.com
By John Robertson, Tutor, The English Manner

Flags: we raise them in pride and celebration, lower them in sadness and to commemorate death, burn or destroy them in anger and protest. There is great emotion associated with this one symbol as very aptly noted by the Chief Protocol Officer for Toronto, Canada.

For several months now, my colleague William Hanson has been urging me to write something for the blog on the subject of flags. On the face of it, this was a simple request and should not have presented any difficulties as I can fairly easily recite the generally accepted guidelines for displaying flags and have often given advice in the matter (sometimes by invitation, other times not).

However, I felt that our readers expected more than mere rote and I wanted a different slant and in the process, inadvertently opened a can of worms (a modern metaphorical extension of Pandora’s Box). My research (if that is not too grand a term) included personal observation and study on three continents and many countries and eventually led to a meeting with the Lead Ceremonials Officer for the US State Department. The USA is the only country that has statute law dealing with flying or displaying its national flag (Title 36, Chapter 1).

Read the rest @ The Protocol of Flags

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