Mail Art Postcard No. 4705…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s elephant in the room is the one trumpeting Ravel’s Bolero very loudly as she stands at the bar mixing cocktails. (RB)

A very simple collage on bright card, a mail art postcard, using clippings from that awful British TV listings rag What’s On TV.
I always feel uneasy and slightly embarrassed when people start waving their national flag around – whatever country they live in – it’s as if they are shouting, ‘We are better than everyone else, in every way!’
Britain and the US seem to have quite different attitudes to their flags. With the US it seems to be almost a religious or sacred thing, people have it flapping in the wind on flagpoles on their nicely kept lawns (presumably to remind them which country they are in), military folk like to salute it, they get very upset when foreign folk, who don’t seem to like America very much, set fire to them in public – gosh that really does make people mad!
We Brits (not sure if I like the word ‘Brit’ – but I suppose it’s short for ‘Briton’, so it’s probably alright) aren’t as precious about our flag as much as our friends over the water seem to be about theirs.
‘I say Nigel, I see in The Times that the poor people of that little Eastern country we’ve just invaded and taken over are burning our flags, our union jacks, in the streets of the capital…’
‘Oh yes?’
‘Never mind Charles… It’s only a few flags – oh, I wonder where they got them from?’
‘I don’t know… It’s a puzzle…’

It the trendy 1960s the union jack was reproduced everywhere: on shopping bags, mugs, t-shirts, on the roofs of Minis, in fact anywhere you could fit one in. I don’t really think it was patriotism, more like a bit of 1960s cheeky irreverent fun and irony.
The flag itself is a remarkable design though, I do like it – it’s much more complicated than you’d think: How to draw a union jack. I like the way the diagonal red cross doesn’t line up at all where you’d think it would meet up in the middle.

So, what are these people on my postcard doing?
Well, I think they are the audience at the Last Night of the Proms – where they all sing along with that patriotic song Land of Hope and Glory (some great tunes in there!) and wave their the union jacks, and have patriotic tears in their patriotic eyes, and they all go home feeling great, sweaty, and very British…
It gives me the creeps – we should have grown out of all that years ago – perhaps in the 1960s?… (Click here if you dare!)

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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14 Responses to Mail Art Postcard No. 4705…

  1. Jheron Bash says:

    Hurrah!! God save the Queen.🤡

  2. Sharon Mann says:

    I like how the folks in England dress up in flag suits. There were lots of those to be seen during Saturday’s royal wedding.

  3. Its the cast of “Suits” trying to get famous in Britain…..oh wait, someone already did that. 😉

  4. Dana Doran says:

    Oh those flags, they’re just a continuation of the illusion, aren’t they? and so anti-global !

  5. junkmonkey says:

    I wonder what they’ll do after Scotland becomes independent? Just red and white I suppose.

  6. junkmonkey says:

    Or maybe they’ll finally get round to adding Wales’ dragon to the mix.

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