'Flying' the flag

Inspired by Lily Hydrangea at Long Island Daily Photo, whose Skywatch this week has a home supplies shop proudly flying the American flag. And for Bud from Kansas, a new visitor to my blog and an honorary Scot, and Christine from Aberdeen, currently in the US but still posting glimpses of Aberdonian life in Writing from Scotland.

Displays of the Saltire, the Scottish flag, used to be pretty rare. Now it flies proudly on many buildings, and adorns national life from rugby shirts to taxis. We still don't fly it outside schools, that I'm aware of, nor branches of B&Q and Homebase. You might spot the occasional house with a Saltire on a pole in the garden, but we are nowhere near the domestic pride in their flag that the Scandinavians have. I have memories of travelling through Sweden by train, marvelling at every red-painted house in a forest clearing with its pennant flag fluttering from a flagpole in the garden. Or that classic scene of painted wooden houses on rocky outcrops in the archipelagoes off Stockholm, each with their flag flying from house or flagpole. Yellow house, blue sea and sky, blue and yellow flag. And the same in Finland and Norway.

Still, a flying taxi's not bad.


  1. impressive motorised flag !

  2. fantastic taxi. i don't have a flag outside my house but i do have a small saltire flag in my living room and a bumper sticker on my car.

  3. Fantastic! I have a car awaiting paint. I feel a project coming on. Thanks for the "Honorary Scot" badge. I'll wear it proudly.

  4. Oh, thank you Linda! As an Adopted Scot, my heart did rise when I saw your wonderful photo. I've noticed that here in the States the flag doesn't seem to be flying on absolutely every house - but perhaps that's because it's not the summer?

  5. Nice way to paint a car! I don't have a flag flying at our house on a daily basis. I do put out a flag on holidays such as Flag Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. I carry a flag with me everywhere, though. My Discover credit card sports an American Flag.

  6. I love it! This way, the patriotic individual never needs to remember to take the flag down each night.
    I confess, I am not a very faithful flag-flyer. I love our flag, but I feel so ashamed when I forget to bring it down at night that I just don't fly it to begin with. I should work on that because I love my country and my flag.

  7. Hi linda,
    What characters must own that car! I'm sure it attracts many lovely comments. Here in Australia all schools fly the National and Indigenous flags, all Government buildings, many private institutions, some homes although not many, actually it's possible to see them everywhere! They are so visible I hardly notice them!

  8. Scotland is one of the most beautiful places that these eyes have ever seen. The people are fierce, proud, and generous with others. I keep wondering if Scotland will someday be its own country again like so many of the countries that used to be ruled by Britain (Canada, Australia, etc.).

    I love the Scottish flag. It is so simple and elegant.

  9. Denmark takes great pride in its flag too. We were very struck by the number of houses with flagpoles, and the fact that you can buy paper flags in the supermarkets. The scarlet Dannebrog (sp.?) looks fantastic against a blue sky.

  10. Babzy and Karine, glad you like the artwork. I wonder if taxis in France and Canada fly the flag like this?

    Journeys to Scotland - you're displaying more of the Scottish flag at home than I am.

    Bud, if you do ever paint that car, be sure to let me see a photo.

    Christine, flags are more of a summer thing. The ones that fly here over the winter get tattered very quickly and of course it's against flag etiquette to fly a tattered one.

    Linda, I think you're the flag-flying winner out of all of us. I'm trying to remember what's on my credit card - an arty sunset shot of a Scottish harbour.

    Adrienne, there is SO much etiquette associated with flags. You need to have the rules constantly to hand to do the right thing.

    Vicki, that's interesting that all your schools fly the flag. My children's school has a school flag, which is flown on high days (eg Founder's Day), and at half mast on occasions of mourning.

    Wild Bill, it is an elegant flag. Who knows what the next elections will bring in terms of the balance of power in Scotland. Check back after 5th May.

    Randy, cute is not a term often applied to taxis here, but I think this one is!

    dancingbeastie, you're right, I missed out Denmark. My only travels in Denmark have been the sleeper from Cophenhagen to Paris, so perhaps I can be excused!


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