Flying a flag

Yesterday’s March for Free Expression seemed to go well1, although I have to agree with commenters that the request not to display cartoons is rather odd, given the message of the march. Still, there was a large crowd and by all accounts some interesting speakers. I’m intrigued by this, though:

The stewards were advised that a bylaw prohibits the display in Trafalgar Square of any foreign flags, so they had to cooperate with the wardens and the police in asking people to lower Danish and American flags.

That’s just weird, and a little ironic. A flag, presumably, is simply a representation of something. The flag itself means nothing without the meaning behind it. So for flags to be banned at a march for free expression? Bizarre.

Is it me, or are flags accorded far more importance than they warrant? There seem to be large numbers of laws and regulations governing what are essentially coloured pieces of cloth, especially when what they represent can be shown in any number of different ways…I guess it’s all mixed up with nationalism, but I wonder that people don’t have better things to think about.

(post edited later to fix a non-sentence)

  1. don’t even start reading the comments if you value your blood pressure []