‘Fun with Flags’ – Country Etiquette

Following on with our previous Fun with Flags as to when Half Mast is not ‘Half Mast’ a recent conundrum from one of our members has raised the following: If you have more than one mast and wish to fly flags from different countries, or golf unions, or other representatives what is the correct etiquette? Needless to say, our member was inundated with members complaining about the order chosen, all with different opinions on what that order should be! So, for those of you who are ‘lucky’ enough to have more than one flagpole, and/or have even the slightest interest, the next paragraph explains how it should be done. The order of precedence of flags in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, starting from the left as you look at them: Royal Standards, the Union Flag, the flag of the host country (England, Scotland, Wales, etc.), flags of other nations (in alphabetical order, the Commonwealth Flag, the European Union Flag, county  flags, flags of cities or towns, banners of arms, and then house flags, golf union flags etc. If only one flag is to be flown and there are two flagpoles, it should be flown on the flagpole to the observer’s left. If there are more than two flagpoles, it should be flown as near as possible to the centre. This only applies when the other flagpoles remain empty. So now you know. For more ‘fun with flags’, you can visit the Flag Institute where there is a wealth of information on flag etiquette.
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