When it comes to blind patriotism, Americans (and Canadians!) have it fairly easy; we’ve got a flag that looks completely different upside down, so it’s easy to figure out when we’re not waving it properly. Pity the poor British nationalists, whose Union flag (remember, it’s only the Union Jack at sea — thanks, Doctor Who!) looks just symmetrical enough that you could be flying it upside-down or backwards while you’re celebrating how much better you think your country is than others.
For the non-anglophiles, here’s how it’s supposed to look. Note that at the leftmost corner, the thicker white stripe appears first.
Now, observe this:
This appears correct at first glance, but look at the right side of the flag — see the white stripe running down it? Anyone who’s ever seen a flag in their entire lives knows that stripe is the part that’s meant to be tied to the pole, meaning that this Union flag is both backwards and upside down. And, you know, tied between two trash bins. That’s a whole other issue.
Why is the distinction important? Because as many noted when Press Secretary Sean Spicer accidentally wore his U.S. lapel pin upside down during a press briefing, waving a country’s flag in that way is a sign of “dire distress.”
Yeah. Sounds about right.