The Queen forgot the flag?


Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark arrived in the Faroese capital Trshavn yesterday. The starboard yardarm was naked, while the rest of the ship was lavishly decorated with flags.

A common yacht would normally fly two flags: Its national ensign at the stern to show where it is from, and the flag of the host nation in the mast as a courtesy flag to pay respect.

The Queen seems to have forgotten the courtesy flag. That would normally signal a certain level of sloppiness. But her Majesty is not sloppy in such matters, she has a large staff of professional protocol freaks with funky titles like overhofmarskalkinde. Thus, the decision to not fly the courtesy flag must be a deliberate demonstration.

From Wikipedia:

A courteous, peaceable merchant ship or yacht customarily flies its ensign [...] together with the flag of whatever nation it is currently visiting at the mast (known as a courtesy flag). To fly one's ensign alone in [...] a foreign port [...] traditionally indicates a willingness to fight, with cannon, for the right to do so.

I guess her protocol masters have decided that a courtesy flag would indicate submission to Faroese authority. As the Kingdom of Denmark lays claim to the Faroe Islands, that would be unacceptable.

But I disagree with their interpretation. The political implication of flying the courtesy flag, is nothing more than a wish to avoid conflict with Faroese authority. Which is in line with official Danish policy: That the Faroe Islands will get independence if they ever again ask for it.

(Suggested revenge: Sail into a Danish port with a European Union courtesy flag)


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