At ten thirty this morning - outside Oakham Library - a flag was raised with all the ceremony which the military manage to do so well. It was all a little confusing. As the flag was raised the C O of North Luffenham saluted. So did some of the other ranks, however some did not. Couldn't quite work out what the military etiquette was. The flag stayed folded, there was too little wind to unfurl it.
The Commanding Officer at Cottesmore gave a worthy address after the flag was raised.
When the flag finally shrugged out of its folds one could see this was not a Union Flag but in fact half a Union Flag, beneath the horizontal red line of St George. were the words:
British Armed Forces
Show Your Support
Couldn't work out whether, since it wasn't a Union Flag, it actually deserved a salute from the C O at North Luffenham or not. At the risk of being a 'Colonel Blimp' I mentioned that it appeared the salute had been given to a bit of bunting. Quite whether the O Rs should have been saluting was something I'm not qualified to give an opinion on, but perhaps communications are a bit poor to the O Rs. Not surprising really since I gathered that the Lord Lieutenant, Officers, Mayor and other senior people were off for refreshments at the Castle whilst the Other Ranks were left out in the cold. Glad to see that the Commanding Officer of the cadets at Oakham School very politely side stepped his invitation to the Castle. At least there are some who are politically educated in Oakham.
How very odd too that we were there to honour the military who have lost their lives in a politically questionable war, yet those representing the Other Ranks, who represent the majority of the 300 who have died in this questionable war in Afghanistan and many more who have died in Iraq, were not honoured enough to be included in the official reception.