Why flags should always be fun – leader comment

There’s nothing wrong with a colourful piece of cloth to wave in celebration of a particular place. But let’s not fight about them.

Could this be the new flag for Skye?
Could this be the new flag for Skye?

Flags seem to be in the news a lot more these days.

Unionists complain nationalists are pinching the Saltire as their own symbol, while there was a bit of a stooshie over whether the European Union flag could still be flown outside the Scottish Parliament after Brexit (which apparently it can, partly because it’s also the flag of the Council of Europe and we’re still members of that).

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Soon the Isle of Skye will have its first-ever flag, joining a number of other places with a newly acquired standard. Where will it all end?

Should we each have our own personal flag, designed in strict accordance to the rules of heraldry? Sounds like it could be fun.

And, while it remains fun, there’s nothing much wrong with a colourful piece of cloth to wave in celebration of the place you are from, or live in, or just visited once and thought “that’s a nice flag, I’m going to buy one as a souvenir” (the Isle of Man a particularly good, slightly surreal, one with three legs joined near the hip).

But let’s not return to the bad old days when flags were symbols to fight and even die for.

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