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We have two main flags at All Saints: a St George’s Flag for church related pccsions and a Union Flag for civic events.
Those with a sharp eye may have noticed that the St George’s Flag has become very frayed. Flags wear out like everything else, and the more they are used the more rapidly the wear. Under our current regime we fly the St George’s Flag around 50 days a year and the Union Flag between 4 and 8 days (in a normal year) so St George gets a lot more use.
Flag suppliers advise that the life of a flag like ours is 90 days ‘based on daily usage from sunrise to sunset' and 'not during periods of inclement weather'. We fly our flags 24 hours a day (regardless of the weather) which makes them last ‘only 1/4 as long as one flown during daylight hours only'. On that basis our flag is well over its expected life, having flown for between 350 and 400 days since we bought it in 2015.
Twenty years ago we flew the flag much less – mostly single days whereas now we fly it for extended periods, for example from Christmas Eve to Epiphany, from Easter Day to Low Sunday and from Ascension Day to Trinity Sunday. That accelerates the wear and shortens its life.
The wear is concentrated at the ‘fly’ of a flag (the end farthest from the flagpole) which flaps more violently than the rest, like the end of a whip. So the flag is tatty but 90% of it is quite sound. Flag makers have a solution. They add a strip of ‘anti-fray netting’ to the end of the flag. It takes the beating and can be replaced for far less than the cost of a new flag, so we decided that would be a sensible addition.
The new flag couldn’t be delivered in time for Easter so symbolically it will first ascend the flag pole on Ascension Day.
John Harrison (Aoril 2023)
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