Saturday, 28th July, 2012.

Flying The Flag

     Whether or not the conspiracy-theorists are right about the incident at the Olympic ladies soccer match, it has been cause for much debate.   A friend of mine up in Scotland said that the real reason for the North Korean ladies walking off the pitch for all that time is so that somebody could explain the off-side rule to them because they’re only women.   A cruel and sexist comment, eh?

However, one has to wonder if the whole incident was done on purpose to antagonise North Korea into some sort of armed conflict.

Be that as it may, many people here in Wales have raised a serious point.   The North Koreans saw the wrong-flag-incident as a slur on their nation.   Simply flying a foreign flag – as they saw it – was an improper thing to do.   So what about the Welsh flag?

When we in Wales see what used to be called “The Union Jack”, should we not lodge a protest?   For that flag cannot possibly be the United Kingdom’s flag for one of the nations of that “unity” – our own – is not represented!

Some woolly-minded person has tried to get me to believe that the colour red on that flag represents Wales.   Rubbish!   If you know how the Union Flag is made up, you will know that there is nothing Welsh on it.

Perhaps some clever Civil Servant (in London, of course) could find a way of including our Draig Goch slap-dab in the middle of those crosses.   Alternatively, Wasteminster’s Secretary of State for Wales should resign every time that Union Flag is flown anywhere in our land.

We Know Different

     The fact that the first competition of the Olympics was held in Cardiff means that London has tried to appease the people of Wales.   You will know that, even in BBC Radio 4’s weather forecasts, Cardiff’s temperature is given as if our capital’s weather covered the whole of our land.

Now, I know that Cardiff is our capital city and that our own government resides there.   But the media must be taught that “Cardiff” is not synonymous with “Wales”.

So, for a start, London’s BBC weather forecasts should include places like Machynlleth or Y Trallwng (Welshpool) or Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

If we in Wales can pronounce Birmingham and Ashby-de-la-Zouch, the Beeb’s announcers should have no trouble at all.

P.S

     As this column was going to press, I was told that two Welsh sportsmen had refused to join in “God Save The Queen” at a sporting event.   I am no sort of sports-fan, but I commend the two lads for their courage and for sticking to their principles.

Perhaps there is some hope for Wales regaining a full national identity.

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About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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