As hard as we try at Flagmakers, flags do seem to come in for a lot of stick. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a flag wrapped around itself on a flagpole, till just a fraction of its image is visible (although it’s a relief when it magically unfurls to its former glory with a sudden change of wind direction). Flags in very exposed positions can look particularly scruffy when tattered and wind-damaged (time to order a new one from Flagmakers?). Some people still insist on flying our Union Jack upside down (does this happen with any other national flags – answers on a postcard please). And sometimes, flags just break free of their constraints.
It was a particularly windy day that saw Serena Williams breeze past rival Maria Sharapova at the Olympics women’s singles final. During the medal ceremony, the loosely fixed American standard fell from its mount, just as the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ reached the line about the flag still being there.
But Serena didn’t mind too much, given that she was more focused on the fact that she had become the first female tennis player to win the Golden Grand Slam of all four major opens and the Olympic gold, since Steffi Graf in the late 80s. She told the media: “It was amazing to just be up there for the USA and hold this medal. I’m surprised it happened but it was just so windy out there. At least the anthem was playing. It was such a great moment. I’m happy.”
And so are we, because it wasn’t us who fixed that flag in position in the first place.