Tempers flare as theatre flies union flags upside down

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ARMY veterans bombarded the Friends of the Winter Gardens with angry emails after four union flags were hung upside down outside the theatre over jubilee weekend.

Ex-forces personnel said they were offended by the flags of Her Majesty flying upside down because this is either a sign of distress or an insult to the Queen.

One retired corporal even threatened to “storm the building” unless the four red, white and blue flags were turned the right way up.

Another email said the perpetrators should be sent “to the Tower for a severe thrashing”.

Following the glut of complaints on Saturday and Sunday, the Friends admitted the mistake and quickly hung the flags the right way up.

Photos had been taken of the flags flying upside down and posted on military websites nationwide, sparking the deluge of emails.

“As an ex-serviceman having served Her Majesty for 12 years, I take this as a personal insult to myself, Her Majesty and all serving or ex servicemen and women in the United Kingdom,” wrote R Llanelly, a retired Royal Engineer.

The Winter Gardens was open over the weekend for Morecambe’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

Evelyn Archer, chair of the Friends, said: “Though we had no intention of making a mistake and upsetting anybody, we corrected the situation as soon as it was pointed out to us.

“We certainly didn’t deserve the 12 emails we received.

“The Friends worked very hard this weekend to put on a free festival and we give our time free as volunteers.

“Having two sons-in-law and a son who has served in Ireland, the Gulf and the Falklands, I am the last person to want to upset the Armed Forces.

“Having driven around Morecambe I saw that we weren’t the only people who made a mistake.

“Did they all receive the same treatment?”