As I pulled back my bedroom curtains and looked out this morning, my eye was caught by something white writhing in the middle of the road. Our neighbours have a white cat, so I thought, “Oh, it’s Snowy.” Then to my alarm I realised there were red splodges on it, and thought, “Oh no, she’s been hurt!”
I grabbed my glasses and saw to my great relief that it wasn’t a cat or any other wounded animal, but the flag of St George, white with a red cross, twisted around its stick and blowing in the wind. Glad that my initial perception – due to extreme myopia – was mistaken, I was nevertheless rather concerned that the national flag of my country was lying in the middle of the road and likely to be run over.
It’s only a symbol, and has been misappropriated in recent years by neo-Nazis as well as by football hooligans, but seeing it lying in the dirt felt like a kind of sacrilege, so I went out and picked it up. It was one of those flags that clip onto a car window, and had obviously dropped off. Our neighbour Pete is a football fan, often wearing a blue and white striped Baggies shirt at home, so I assumed it was his, but his car wasn’t there.
What should I do with it now? There was nowhere next door suitable to fasten it onto or plant it, as their forecourt is completely paved. So I clipped it onto the handle of our dustbin, in the hope that if it does belong to Pete, when he gets home, he’ll reclaim it!
In the meantime, I wonder what passers-by think of our allegiance?