British Flag in cemeteries and other Union Flag chat

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Marco, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Marco

    Marco Senior Member

    The pro and cons have been discussed at lenght before (either here or at ww1 forum), but it does look great, doesn't it?

    Curtesy of the people of Cognac.



    Attached Files:

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Shame it's upside down ;)
    Graham Smith likes this.
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Very well spotted.

    I wonder who is in distress?

  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Is it not common to fly the national flag in British cemeteries?
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    'Preciate all the enlightening responses.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    'Preciate all the enlightening responses.

    I felt the same in the 'Guard telling the crowd to shut up' thread ;)
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Can't say I have seen the Union Flag flying in a British Cemetery on the continent.For the French, for the larger cemeteries,it is the norm to fly the tricolour.

    On the occasion illustrated,it might have been flown by the locals,hence the flag flown in distressed fashion.Military types usually do not make the mistake.

    Once saw the Union Jack flown by Danish hosts to greet a British contingent.It was immediately recognised as being flown in the distressed mode by those who had had military experience.It stayed in that mode while we were there and did indicate the condition of some, as our visit progressed.....good friendships were forged and are still ongoing after 30 odd years.
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    IIRC there's one or possibly two at Dunkirk and the only other two I can think of which aren't CWGC sites are at Wormhoudt where the barn and the memorial stone of the massacre are situated. All of these were being flown correctly the last time I was there.
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    We're British dear boy, we find we dont need to fly the flag to prove it.
    Same goes for postage stamps.
    I'm sure that our stamps are the only ones that dont have the country's name on them.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  10. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Is there such a thing as a 'British' cemetery ? Aren't they all 'Commonwealth' ?

    The British (and Commonwealth) attitude to remembrance doesn't seem to be one which requires displays of nationalism. The CWGC cemeteries reflect a sense of loss rather than victory.

    The graves do of course have service or regimental headstones. Perhaps the loyalty lies there ?
    Stewart Coupar, von Poop and Owen like this.
  11. spidge


    I saw a few on my trip to many of the smaller cemeteries.

    This one from St. Philbert-Sur-Risle in Eure.

    St. Philbert-Sur-Risle CC [1280x768].JPG .JPG]

    A local gentleman on seeing I was from Australia, (I was placing flags) said the village people were proud to tend the graves of these brave British and Australian aviators.

    The four crew of a Mitchell bomber crashed there on 23/07/1944.

    AWM 237 (65 ) NAA : A705, 166/26/522 Commonwealth War Graves records
    Aircraft Type: Mitchell
    Serial number: FV 985
    Radio call sign:
    Unit: ATTD 98 SQN RAF
    Mitchell FV985 took off from RAF Dunsfold, Horsham, Sussex, at approx 1500 hours on
    23rd July 1944, detailed to bomb railway yards at Glea/Montfort, France, from a height of
    10,000 feet. While the bombs were being released over the target, an explosion occurred,
    and it was believed a bomb from the aircraft exploded in the bomb bay or just after
    leaving the aircraft. The aircraft disintegrated in the air and all the crew were killed.
    The explosion also caused casualties in three other aircraft in the box formation.
    RAF Sqn Ldr Paynter, H Captain (Pilot)
    RAF PO Dodd, J (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
    RAF Flt Sgt T F Riley, (Wireless Operator Air)
    RAAF 400658 PO McGregor, R A (Air Gunner)
    All the crew are buried in the Saint Philbert-Sur-Risle Communal Cemetery, Locality
    Eure, France. Saint Philbert-Sur-Risle is a village and commune, 12kms south west of
    Pont Audemet and 48kms north west of Evreux. It is also near the town of Montfort.
    The above four airmen are the only WW2 fatalities buried in the cemetery.
  12. Rotherfield

    Rotherfield Senior Member

    You beat me to it re the Union flag flying upside down, but it was a nice gesture
  13. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Quite odd from our standpoint. We even have US flags flying at strictly civilian cemeteries. Here in the South, you may still even see the occasional Confederate flag flying if there are veterans from that era buried there.

    Do you not fly flags at your homes on certain holidays?
  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Today,1 November,All Saints' Day.The day (le jour de la Toussaint) where you will find the French making a special effort to clean up and decorate the graves of their dead.

    British war graves are usually included in this loving care.Remember finding the grave of Bill Reid's (VC) Flight Engineer (Stewart?) in a small hamlet of Germaine,north of Epernay.His grave was well kept,his CWGC tombstone kerbed and obviously had been adopted by those locally.

    Good to see the Union Jack flying in foreign cemeteries,commemorating our dead.

    As regards the reference to "British" cemeteries,the CWGC has been through a number of identities since grave registration commenced in 1915.

    May 1917 .Imperial War Graves Commission.

    1960.In the wake of "the winds of change",the IWGC was renamed the CWGC.

    I would think that the cemeteries were described as "British" from the early days of the Great War.

    Vendresse,Vadencourt and Vailly CWGC cemeteries,for example, with their origin in the Great War are still entitled as "British" in their formal title.
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Have hung out the Cross of St George from the window on 23rd April (as you will have seen in my pics Jeff) but not many houses over here have a flag pole.
    Father-in-law has a second hand one in his workshop but Mother-in-Law wont let him put it up.

    We did hang the Union Flag on our tent this summer in Austria, see pic.

    (When visiting USA back in 1992 made sure I bought a Union Flag in a Canadian shop in Ottawa before crossing the border, to hang in hire car window & from the tent. Had to let you chaps know you were being invaded . :P )
  16. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I believe that you are correct as all Commonwealth Countries flags should fly together and not just the UK's Union Flag.

    Whenever we attend CWGC Cemetrery for a Remembrance Sunday here in Berlin we always seek permission from the Commonwealth Embassy that is organising the event.

    Here in Berlin the Australian Embassy are in charge this year and it rotates every year.

    The RBL Standard is at the CWGC Cemetery on Heerstrasse for 10.00am and the Union Standard is at Stahnsdorf CWGC Cemetery for 11.00am.

    Due to the distance between both locations were are unable to have both at any one location.

  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Rich nails it for me.
  18. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Invaded, meh.:lol: You would probably be surprised how many Union Flags there are flying around here. There be a lot of you Limeys lurking about. :unsure: We're watching you, though, danged fureigners.

    There are several people in my neighborhood who have lighted, in-ground flag poles and fly the Stars and Stripes 24 hours a day. Then a large number of people have removeable poles attached to their homes and fly the flag on special occasions. I suspend my flag vertically from my front porch soffit as needed.

    Get out in the country far enough, you will see a large number of Confederate flags flying in the place of Old Glory. The war has been over for almost 150 years. It is time to move on. B)
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I don't think we're culturally all that bothered about Flags in the UK, Jeff.
    Something nice about seeing one in the right place maybe, but it doesn't have the same sort of almost religious significance the Stars & Stripes has for many in the the US.
    A US Battle Monuments cemetery without one would look odd.

    Though as I say... we're not immune to the occasional appreciation of a well-flown flag:
    Personally I suspect you'd have to be made of stone not to feel at least a twinge of something seeing one flying against such a clear sky on such a significant place (HMS Victory, earlier in the year).

    Nice pages on 'correctness' & spotting upside down ones. Maybe just the tiniest tad OCD, but entertaining nonetheless. (And we all possibly have a touch of OCD about something, or we wouldn't be here ;)):
    How to draw the Union Jack — accurately
    Upside-Down Union Jacks

Share This Page