Today in the United States of America is recognized as Flag Day. A flag is used to rally forces, to be able to tell your mob from the other guy's mob in the midst of carnage and confusion. Children to this day play a game called Capture the Flag, adults also play the same game while armed with paint-ball guns.
When larger and larger groups of people coalesced into nations, naturally some symbol was selected as the flag for that nation. The American flag was birthed during our revolt from British tyranny. Each color represents a specific theme while each white star in the corner represents a state in the Union. For the average soldier sucking down lungfuls of sand in Iraq or freezing in Afghanistan that flag really represents his battle buddies beside him along with the friends and family back home. The flag is a touchstone.
So while I am pondering all that the US flag represents, across the Atlantic I wonder if our British cousins have the same appreciation of their flag and history. Thirty years ago, the Union Jack was run up over Government House in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands signaling the end of Argentinian occupation. Three civilians and 255 members of Her Majesty's military paid the ultimate price for that victory. So to mark this historic day, the flag of the Falklands is flying over No. 10 Downing Street.
If Argentina decided to follow through on its current demands for the islands, that bit of flag waving would be all Britain could do. The Royal Navy is a shadow of its former self. The carriers who helped retake the Falklands 30 years ago are no more, HMS Hermes now serves as an Indian carrier while HMS Invincible last year was sold for scrap. In fact there is no carrier in active service with the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm has not flown a Harrier in over year, the Harriers are either gate guards or scrap. The RAF and its small fleet of Typhoon fighters would also be incapable of affecting an Argentine invasion.
Just some things to ponder on this Flag Day.
Update - added a few more links.