Union Flag blunder set to be put right

A row of flagpoles in Bonny Street car park are displaying Union Jacks, most of which have been hung upside-down
A row of flagpoles in Bonny Street car park are displaying Union Jacks, most of which have been hung upside-down
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Market stall holders in Blackpool are proud to be British and are flying the Union Flag to show it.

But one eagle-eyed local spotted things weren’t flying quite right at Bonny Street Market.

In fact, all its Union Flags were flying upside down – a recognised distress signal.

Kathleen Paoli, 75, was on the bus on her way into town from her home on Eskdale Close, Marton, when she spotted the error on Wednesday.

“It’s just something I noticed as I was passing,” she said.

“The thick side of the white above the red cross should be on the top left hand side. If it’s hung upside down it’s meant to be a distress signal.

“Apart from being the wrong way up, the flags look very nice. I just hope they can get them sorted.”

The market, next to Central Car Park, flies flags when the market is open, and put the Union Flags up when it opened this month.

Market manager Matt Hughes said: “We understand people, especially who have served in the forces, can be offended when the Union Flag is flown upside down. We apologise if this has caused upset.

“We do know there is a right way and a wrong way to fly the flag, unfortunately this is down to the person who put them up.

“We will rectify this as quickly as we can.”

Only one out of the five people we quizzed spotted the flags were wrong.

Former soldier Eric Whitehead, 79, of St Annes, served in the Royal Engineers throughout the 1950s and 1960s and recognised the flags were upside down.
He said: “You have to be used to them.
“It doesn’t bother me because 99 per cent of people won’t know it’s upside down.
“I think as long as they are up it’s marvellous and I’m all for it.”

Clyde Webber, 57, of Lakeway, Marton, said: “The money could be spent elsewhere.
“They shouldn’t be doing this because it’s a waste of money.”

Sharon Preston, 45, of Kingston Avenue, South Shore, added: “I’d expect them to know these things. The people in charge should know what they are doing by now.”

Teaching assistant Katie Wardle, 42, of Highfield Road, South Shore, added: “It seems insane to get it wrong, but I would’ve made the same mistake.”

And Callum Carlisle, 21, of St Annes Road, South Shore, thought the flags should have been at half mast. He said: “If they don’t have anything else important to do they should change them.”