Flags - ScoutHelp

Why Flags are inportant

Flags have been in use for way over 4000 years. But they have always been used for the same purpose, to give others information.

King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table used to wear flags on their horses and armour so that others on their side could tell who they were. The Jolly Roger was a symbol of piracy and flown by pirates at the top of their vessels to scare people off meaning "no mercy will be shown to those who resist". Also, more recently the Olympic flag represents the five continents coming together in friendly competition, with the white background symbolising peace.

So in the past, flags have played a significant part in society, which is also the case today. Every nation has a flag, whose colours are tied to the country's history, for example, the orange in the Dutch flag represents the Orange Order that previously ruled the country. National flags are used to represent each country during conflict, sporting competitions, international conferences and events, but they also give individuals a chance to show their patriotism by flying the flag of their nation. This is particularly evident in England when a major football event is happening; the majority of the population who are football fans fly the flag of St George to show that they are behind the English football team.

Clubs and organisations have their own flags too, for example the boy scouts, and all have special meanings but are nevertheless there for symbolic reasons. Many organisations have caught onto the importance of flags and now manufacture these for a wide range of clientele. Piggotts (www.piggotts.co.uk/flags-index.htm) are one such example, and provide flags and flag poles for places such as the parliament buildings and other famous, high profile streets in London.

So why do well feel it's necessary to expose these flags when we are feeling slightly patriotic? Well because they have been used for so many years, they have become a part of our heritage and are a symbol of individuality, which will continue for thousands of years into the future.