Gaffe Was A Gaff After All

Picture on the left shows correct protocol with the US flag being flown on the diagonal pole, note the other the other flogs above it, picture on the right shows the single Barbados flag being displayed on a similar mast structure

We all make mistakes, the fallibility of man and all that jazz. It is those with the mindset who use mistakes as an opportunity to improve and ideally prevent recurrence  who seem to achieve more.

Last week the Nation Newspaper reported that the Barbados Yacht Club (BYC) was disrespecting the Barbados flag by having its flag displayed above the National Flag. The BYC to its credit reacted quickly to the criticism and withdrew all other flags flying with the exception of the Barbados flag, see picture above. It was reported the BYC checked with Lieutenant Colonel Sean Reece of Barbados Coast Guard who confirmed that the Club had been correctly flying the flags.

Here is how the Lieutenant explained it:

No other flag should be flown above ours if you have several single flags flowing from different flagpoles, but if you have a flag pole that is in the form of what was originally the mast of an old sailing ship, one where the diagonal pole sticks out from the vertical pole, then the position of honour on that flag pole (called the gaff) is where the Barbados Flag should be and where it was placed. So in essence they do have it in the correct position – Nation Newspaper 25 February 2011

The obvious question is why the Nation editor would not have afforded the BYC the opportunity to comment before going to press? In fact the correct protocol could have been easily researched on the Internet. The irony to some is that the national flag is often flown incorrectly on the Nation Newspaper complex at Fontebelle.

A case when a gaffe revealed that the gaff was indeed not a gaffe.

0 thoughts on “Gaffe Was A Gaff After All


  1. Doesn’t that tell us about the level of Journalism at that institution?Be very careful of the letters you read in the Nation. You send in one and when it is printed, it is distorted by the editor exposing their weak and ignorant use of the English Language.


  2. Not to beat up on the press but today’s article in The Advocate singing the praises of Butterfield Bank in Barbados we found interesting. The question provoked by the article is who paid The Advocate to publish the article? Why are we making such a disparaging remark?

    Is it fair for The Advocate to do a PR job today for Butterfield Barbados and not detail the fact Butterfield Bank the parent has lost hundreds of millions of dollars for the last two years?


  3. media personnel in barbados appear to be lazy and selserving.unwilling to investigate and research and afraid to follow up in an effort to offer the public the truth.the gaffe with the yacht club flag story is not surprising.they shamelessly put the issue of the cost of living beore the public everyday but fail to recognise that they are just as guilty by their indiscriminate and exorbitant increases in their services without adequate explanation. they need to pull the mote out of their own eyes first.


  4. David well done, the Nation is not a great example of a daily, its stories are biased and as in this case misleading.


  5. No only old age is getting the better of me . I have been reading your post from time to time and keeping in touch with life on the rock.
    Keep you good work up, well done.


  6. Years ago one could have given a young child a newpare to read to learn how to construct setences, today the newspaper is the biggest culprit of bad language. My hobby is looking into a Nation newspaper and finding the mis-spelt words and the badly contructed sentences, it appears that when a sentence looks too long they just put a fullstop and start a new sentence. The other problem is that there are no investigative journalist in Barbados today, just give someone a juicy story and to print they go.

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