Censorship

Drink Up Me Hearties, Yo Ho

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The next time one of your English-born pals complains about America's impending collapse into fascism, tell her to try flying the Jolly Roger back in Merry Old England. From The Guardian:

A fireman has been threatened with legal action for flying a Jolly Roger outside his home for his daughter's pirate-themed birthday party. […]

"It's a £5 flag, not hurting anyone, and they're probably spending hundreds of pounds of our cash getting me to take it down," the father-of-four told the Evening Standard. "That could be spent on improving the local area—it's disgraceful."

Another neighbour erected a Jolly Roger in support but took it down after receiving the same warning letter from the council.

A spokeswoman for Mole Valley district council said they visited both properties flying the flags and wrote to the owners informing them of the regulations.

The letters stated that although any resident was entitled to fly national flags outside their properties, the Jolly Roger was not allowed under the Outdoor Advertisements & Signs Regulations.

Whole thing here.

I'm curious about just what the council thinks he's advertising? But here's the real issue for reason's UK fans: What the hell flag is an anarchist supposed to fly?

Via the indispensable Fortean Times.

UPDATE: Contributing Editor Charles Oliver chronicled the opening salvos of this battle in the November 2007 print edition.

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  1. Anarchists fly a black flag. Duh. Unless they are conceptual anarchists, in which case it is simply better for them to be shot to prevent the atrocity that they would hang.

  2. Mad props to the neighbor. Too bad they couldn’t get the entire neighborhood to fly it in a bold act of civil disobedience.

  3. I thought anarchists just went around with sharpies and scribble their ass clown “circle-A” symbol on everything.

  4. This is an attack on religion – his Noodliness is displeased.

  5. Wouldn’t increasing the # of jolly roger flags help reduce global warming?

  6. The shit the English put up with. What really depresses me is, in twenty years it will be just as bad here.

    Anarchy flags

  7. I would never fly the Jolly Roger as it would give away the secret that I am, in fact, a pirate.

    It would be like Bond flying an MI6 flag.

  8. My son has had a Jolly Roger flying down the hill for years. So long, in fact, that it looks like it belongs on the Johnny Depp’s ghost ship.

  9. Yes, I wonder what flag an anarchist nation would fly…oh, wait.

  10. It would be like Bond flying an MI6 flag.

    Speaking of Johnny Depp, I am reminded of a scene in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, in which Johnny Depp’s character, a CIA agent, is wearing a pink t-shirt reading “CIA:Central Intelligence Agency”.

    Takes hiding in plain sight to new heights.

  11. As always with these types of stories, a cranky neighbor plays a key role (Link, with picture of the family!).

    Anon

  12. From Anon’s link

    Mr Waterman, a former trooper with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, said: “My kids are well-behaved but there’s one set of neighbours who would rather they sat inside playing computer games than run around on the lawn.

    “They don’t like my kids being outside but they can’t complain to anyone about it so they’ve picked on the flag. I can’t believe the council is backing them.

    It’s about a neighborhood squabble. That makes more sense.

  13. As always with these types of stories, a cranky neighbor plays a key role

    Abosolutely, Anon. It’s always tempting to think that the government is coming down on people by catching them in some roving patrol. But nope, every petty law and regulation that’s made is dutifully enforced by neighbors. This, and this alone is why freedom ain’t free. Your neighbors don’t want it.

  14. I like the look of that family.

  15. If you’re not living in a P-1 (Piracy) zoned neighborhood, you can’t fly the flag. What’s so difficult to understand?

  16. Sounds like a story I read in the WaPo this AM. Always some piss-ant busybody ruining eveyone else’s fun.

    Saving Sidewalks From the Evils of Ping-Pong

  17. Ya got it all wrong; it ain’t piracy, it ain’t about advertising, it ain’t about political statements, it ain’t about neighbourhood (that’s how the Brits spell it) squabbles, it ain’t about P-1 Piracy zoning — as usual in these cases it is to protect children and in this case from the suggestion of enjoyable sex.

    In the “British” language (a sub-set of English) below are common uses for the words we in North America find so innocent:

    jolly = very good, fine, happy, pleasant, an adjective used to emphasize positively

    roger = (v) to fuck, indulge in sexual intercourse, screw, hump, boink, poke, etc.

    i.e. jolly roger = very good fuck, emphatic fucking, happy boinking

    That is what the flag actually represents, so get over all that political, anarchist, pirate symbolic shit. Don’t have to be that deep … its the children, fun, and sex! Simple PC basics.

    P.S. TWC (aka the wino) you might have a talk with your son…

  18. I’ve always loved that definition of roger.

    The neighbour is still a fucking tosser.

    That better?

  19. Throw em in the brig! seriously

  20. Throw em in the brig! seriously

    Pirates don’t have brigs. It be a plankwalk or a keelhaulin’ for the scurvy landlubber.

  21. A fireman has been threatened with legal action for flying a Jolly Roger outside his home for his daughter’s pirate-themed birthday party.

    They are always attacking my kind. Don’t worry, they won’t be “booking” anybody once I get done with them.

  22. Ska | May 8, 2008, 1:32pm | #
    I’ve always loved that definition of roger.

    The neighbour is still a fucking tosser.

    That better?

    Yeah. See: http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/t.htm

    tosser, noun. An idiot, a contemptible person. Also, occasionally spelt tossa.

    (… a rogering tosser…?)

    How about something a bit more historical,
    toe-rag, noun. A contemptible or worthless person. From the cloth that was worn around one’s feet as a sock, usually by vagrants. [Mid 1800s]

    I like it: He’s a fucking toe-rag! It has a nice flowing sound to it!

  23. It’s too bad the freedom loving manly men of Europe all died without offspring in WW2.

    The guy with the biggest balls in Austria is also batshit insanely evil.

    How can we have a war and only the nancys are sent “over there”?

  24. RE: Anarchist flags.

    I’ve always been fond of the Gadsen: Don’t Tread on Me flag.

    Hi Res image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gadsden_flag.svg

  25. First they came for the pirates, but I said nothing because I was not a pirate. Then they came for the ninjas…

  26. That council better pray that the good men of the Crimson Permanent Assurance don’t get wind of this.

  27. Mad props to the neighbor [for flying a Jolly Roger in support]. Too bad they couldn’t get the entire neighborhood to fly it in a bold act of civil disobedience.

    “Arrrr — I be Spartacus!” “No, I be Spartacus!” “I be Sparrrrrrrtacus!” …

  28. Some day I would really like to sit down with some (sane) Englishmen and ask them what the hell is going on over there. Most of the Englishmen I’ve ever dealt with have seemed perfectly normal, and if you read British forums, there are plenty of people decrying the direction the nation is going. So why are the inmates running the asylum? Then again, they probably want to ask me the same question…

  29. Mr. Waterman might call on his mates at the tank regiment, borrow some equipment and blow the bloody Mole Valley Council to hell and gone.
    That’s an appropriate response, anything less is unconditional surrender to the pecksniffs.

  30. Some day I would really like to sit down with some (sane) Englishmen and ask them what the hell is going on over there.

    All the sane Englishmen (and women) have moved to Texas and other such states.

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