Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Put Out More Flags (but not in WC2)

Loads of Union Jacks in the Mall today, probably something to do with the Royal Wedding. But only a couple of weeks ago, traders in Covent Garden were being told not to display Union Jacks, apparently because they were being shown on 'low quality products'. Low quality products of other kinds seem not to have been forbidden. Rum. One can see why the owners of Covent Garden wouldn't want it to end up looking like the east end of Oxford Street, but can it really be the national flag that is lowering the tone?

About 30 years ago, a UK-based American Playboy executive , Victor Lownes, had the tops of the railings to his Mayfair mansion picked out with gold paint - only to be told that this was not acceptable and that they would have to revert to the usual black. Why? Because it was 'vulgar'. He pointed out that the Queen had them around Buckingham Palace. That, he was told, was an entirely different matter.

Taste, it seems, is all about context.

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