The monarchy: flying the flag for Britain - and nowhere else

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by Barry Everingham


Monarchists say when the royal family visits other countries, they fly the flag of the country they're visiting, not Britain. Nonsense, says Barry Everingham.

David Flint just can’t get it right—he really is the master of obfuscation; he pulls the wool over the eyes of his followers—he lies to them through his teeth.

The Indonesian-born* co-owner of ACM is trying to have the readers of his last century Women’s Weekly type royal gossip magazine (which these days should be called the Women’ s Monthly to coincide with it four weekly publication schedule) believe that tours to foreign countries by members of Britain’s royal family do not fly the Union Jack.

No, dear old David says, they fly the flag of the foreign country they are visiting—when in Canada, the Maple Leaf; in Australia and New Zealand, it’s the androgynously designed flags of both countries; and when visits are made to the other countries of which Elizabeth II is head of state, the flags of those countries are flown.

This is totally wrong and Flint knows it.

In his usual pompous way, he takes BBC America and Hello! Magazine to task for reporting that the soon to be newly-weds, William and Kate, will be “flying the flag for Britain” when they have their “homecoming” to Canada.

Of course they’ll be flying their own country’s flag—why wouldn’t they be?

When members of the British royal family travel abroad they always fly Britain’s flag, just like the Queen does on her visits, which are in essence trade missions promoting British expertise and products.

When the Queen visits, say the United States, I haven’t ever once noticed her promoting Australian wool or the products of her other realms and territories beyond the seas.

(Let me transcribe that into Flint-speak:  When The Queen visits, say the United States, I haven’t ever once noticed Her promoting Australian wool  or the products of Her other Realms or Territories Beyond  the Seas).

Flint then lays into Mike Carlton, taking feline delight that this giant of Australian journalism lost his spot on Sydney’s bastion of right wing claptrap, radio station 2UE. Carlton, of course, is a republican – just like most of this country’s Premiers and Opposition Leaders and certainly the majority of MP’s and Senators irrespective of party lines – which in Flint’s book places him beyond the pale.

George Negus

George Negus isn’t spared the Flint hissing through clenched teeth either. My dear old mate from way back tells it as it is—and that isn’t Flint’s way.

Republicans are denigrated in a most grievous, bitchy and, dare I say, unmanly and un-Australian way by Flint, who then gets all teary eyed when he cops flack in return.

He really should confine his blog to the clothes the Queen wears, the decorations being planned for the upcoming wedding and throw in some food hints and knitting patterns to fill space in what is essentially a Tony Abbott / right-wing of the Liberal Party promotional vehicle.

The man is a disgrace.

* One last thing, David Flint seems to think there’s a racist element in references to his birth in Indonesia—this is far from the truth. The professor has a habit of underscoring what he perceives to be flaws in his “Republican enemies” (my inverted commas). His vitriol against those who differ from him shows an immaturity beyond – or should that be ‘behind’ – his years; it’s a Ruxtonesque flaw which made the former RSL chief, sadly, a figure of fun... in my own case Flint accuses me of  promoting myself  as a “royal watcher”, a description  I abhor, as he well knows. If Flint wants to play games; let him. His objection to being reminded of his ethnicity is in itself a form of inverted racism, so frankly I don’t know what he’s going on about.
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