Anura Guruge Paying Homage To An “Ol'” Union Jack — Actually A 17th Century The King’s Colours (Great Union Flag) At Strawbery Banke.
by Anura Guruge
Click to ENLARGE.
There is one and only one exception — the oldest house at the Banke, ‘Sherburne House‘ thought to have been built c. 1695 – 1703.
It had a ‘Union Jack’ flying in front. I was attracted to it like a moth to a flame.
I guess I didn’t study it too carefully. PLUS, in my own defense, there was quite a breeze and the flags were constantly aflutter.
Well as you can see I tried to get draped in the flag — MY FLAG.
One of the older, professional, employed by the Banke, docens was at the ‘Sherburne House’. I had met him earlier at the start of the tour and talked about Granite State Ambassadors (GSAs), since they are professional guides and IF we did something like this it would be on a volunteer basis for us (if NOT for GSA per se).
He started to tell me that it was the WRONG flag for that ‘period’ and that experts had informed the Banke management that they were flying the wrong flag!
Well, I am the first to admit that I am NOT, alas, an expert on the Union Jack. There is only so many things I can stay of top of (and I will spare you the joke) and the Union Jack, for now, is not one of them.
At least I do know that the ‘Jack’ has a right and wrong orientation and that the Queen can have you fed to the Queen’s (omnivorous) Swans along the Thames if you intentionally fly the ‘Jack’ the wrong way! That said, I am hard pressed to ever tell you IF a ‘Jack’ is flying the right way or not! But, I don’t feel too bad. I know that I am in good and safe company. I know that 90% of Brits wouldn’t even know that the flag is not symmetrical and as such as a right top and bottom.
Well, when I got home I checked — using Wikipedia as an easy reference. Wow. Talk about arcane. But, this is a very special flag. It has flown over more square miles of Earth than any other flag. Period.
Well, I see that I was paying homage to a The King’s Colours or Great Union Flag from 1606 to 1707. I would think, and as I said I am NO expert, that that would appear to be the right flag for the ‘Sherburne House’. But, I am not even going to venture there.
IF I ever had the money I would LOVE to fly a Union Jack at the house.
I learned something about flying foreign flags in the U.S. last year — which showed that my prior assumption, and supposed knowledge, on the subject was WRONG! There is a small bungalow opposite the Alton Central School (ACS) playing fields. The owners of that bungalow have been flying a New Zealand flag, by itself, for the last few years. I had thought that they couldn’t do that, and that ONLY embassies and the official residences of ambassadors could fly foreign flags, by themselves, without having a U.S. flag alongside. I was wrong. You can fly a national flag on it is own. I am happy to fly both flags. As ever the problem is that I am broke. So I can’t afford to fly one flag let alone two.
So, I have to enjoy MY ‘Union Jack’ whenever I see it in public.
Long Live Our Glorious Queen.
Click to ENLARGE.
by Anura Guruge
++++ Search ‘Portsmouth’
for other related posts >>>>
Click to ENLARGE.
Strawbery Banke (yes per the old English) is an enchanting collection of painstakingly and lovingly restored and preserved period houses, going back to the 17th century (just), in an amazingly peaceful and inspiring pastoral setting, a stone’s throw from the water, in beautiful downtown Portsmouth, N.H.
I am no stranger to the idyllic Strawbery Banke . I have taken my son Matthew there, at least once — given that he was quite a little history buff even when young, having caught that bug at the Greenwich Museum, by the Observatory (as in G.M.T.) when he visited in 1995, aged 3. I know I have visited at least twice — it is just that those visits were during the last century!
We walk by Strawbery Banke at least once a year — given that we try to frequent Prescott Park, Pierce Island & Four Tree Island (or that area in general) during the Summer, as often as we can.
Devanee had visited Strawbery Banke, on a school trip, in 2010, and loved it. I guess I was kind of waiting for Teischan to get old enough before we visited — because if Teischan gets bored a visit to a place like that could be torturous.
We went on Sunday, May 11, 2014 — Mother’s Day. Deanna wanted to go. It was a picture perfect day for any outside activity in N.H. — magical for Strawbery Banke. Temp. close to, if not, 80°F! It was in the 50s just the other morning. Quintessential blue skies. A lovely breeze from the water. It could not have been any better. Everybody was commenting on and revelling in it.
Strawbery Banke, with spring flowers in abundance, was resplendent.
Loved every minute of it.
IF I can ever russel up $100 I will become a Member so we can go there whenever.
I took 156 pictures till the battery ran out. Deanna took 8 more. So I have a total of 164 pictures that I took yesterday. That I took so many pictures is unusual by itself. Over the last few years I have let Deanna take the pictures — like at the Grand Canyon. Now that I am in my dotage I want to be able to appreciate and experience life — without having to do so through a viewfinder. But, I just felt the need to capture the majestic grandeur of Strawbery Banke. As a Granite State Ambassador (GSA) and a N.H. resident of 29 years I am so, so proud that we have this world class, national treasure in Portsmouth.
I will publish all 164 pictures for you over the next couple of days. I created a blog just for Strawbery Banke!
You really should visit. It is $45 for a family. IF you have $100 become a member.