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The (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma) is in distress! Send help (not really)… Or are they just being rude?

By on April 1, 2015 in Myanmar/Burma

I was stuck at the corner of Bogyoke Aung San Road and Sule Pagoda Road in Yangon (Rangoon) waiting for the traffic lights to change and looking at the Sule Shangri-La (formerly Traders) opposite when I noticed something odd…

Can you see a problem with these flags at the Sule Shangri-La, Yangon?

Can you see a problem with these flags at the Sule Shangri-La, Yangon?

Yep, the British flag (also called the Union Flag, and incorrectly the Union Jack (it is only a Union Jack when flown from the Jack mast of a ship)) was flying upside down, and when it is upside down it means you are in distress and help should be sent. Or it can just be a way of being rude, that is it is an insult.

OK, how do you know if it is upside down? Well, this is the correct way up:

The British Flag - the Union Flag the correct way up

The British Flag – the Union Flag the correct way up

You can tell because the left side (or the side attached to the flag pole, assuming the flag pole is on the left) has the thick white diagonal upper-most.

This is the flag upside down…

The British Flag - the Union Flag the incorrect way up - this means you are in distress and need help

The British Flag – the Union Flag the incorrect way up – this means you are in distress and need help

Note that thin white diagonal on the left (or flag pole side) is at the top. This means the flag is upside down…

Flying the flag upside down can be either viewed as an indication that there is a problem and help is required, or that the person flying the flag is being insulting.

FourSquare: Sule Shangri-La (formerly Traders), 23 Sule Pagoda Road (at Bogyoke Aung San Road), Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar

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