xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: The Union Jack: Loving it yet?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Union Jack: Loving it yet?

Today, I am attempting a wordless blog post, with just lots of pictures.

Dang it!  I've failed at the first count.  Darn it and fiddlesticks, as we Brits love to say.  No, but seriously, we're always saying fiddlesticks.  And bother.  And oh my goodness.

We Brits also seem to be good  at bigging up our flag, the Union Jack, at the moment.  Flags are an emotive, powerful symbol and for a while there the Union Jack came with a lot of jingoistic and nationalistic sentiments that bordered on fascist, rather than being an emblem of pride and belonging.  Many of us rather flinched at it.  I make no claim to understand or know the complex historical and social reasons for this, but certainly, it was an indication that the bearer, waver or wearer was to the right of centre in their politics.  Now this is a democracy so bring it on, it doesn't matter what you vote, but I think many Brits didn't feel that the flag was theirs, except at world sporting events, when we felt safe in the knowledge it was ok to wapple it around and big up our countryfellows.  Yes, wapple is a word.  I just made it up, but it is still a word.

Enter Stage Left: the world of crafting.  The Union Jack has been gently and uncontroversially popping up in textiles; in pottery, in knitting, crochet, upholstery, fabric design....it is quietly gracing cushion covers, comfortably inveigling itself in different colourways onto rugs, and politely positioning itself on mugs.

The daughters with Aunty Mairi
I'm not for one second going to pretend the Royal Wedding in April didn't bring the jolly old Union Jack romping home as a symbol of parties and silliness (hoorahhh!) because I think it did - we, for one, went long on the flag-waving and Union Jack biscuits, got dressed up in wedding outfits and sat in our living room having proper afternoon tea, don't you know.  Significantly, I'm no royalist - I just like a good do.

And the fact that we've the Olympicationals coming to our town next year is making many of us very excited and flappy, and flags are a great accessory to have about your person when you feel like that.

Also, I like the colours of the Union Jack, not that for one second I stick faithfully to them when stitching one.
Good for eating too
We at OriginalStitch want ourselves a piece of this 'ere flag thang, and so Amanda and I have been taken an Olympic dive into the threads and fabrics and we're having a good play around with the design.

We'll keep you up to date as work progresses - we think we will get a lot more bonkers with it than it is now; maybe warp it and wangle it a bit, but we still like the bits we've been playing with so far.  Certainly, having learned how to render it perfectly, we will now let our imaginations loose on it. 

Have you ever tried to draw the Union Jack - let me tell you, it's a tricky beast....have a go - check out this tutorial here, and woe betide you get your diagonals in the wrong place!

I plan to bedeck my entire house in British-made Union Jack craft in time for the Olympics next year - will you be joining us?
What do you think of the Union Jack?  Has it changed for you in recent years?  And why?
Shoes - never out of place, even on a Union Jack


jason @ gold work embroidery said...

Know what you mean about the Union Jack - hijacked by racists and derided as an over-nationalistic symbol.
But I think in crafts it isn't seen as such. Flags - Yes! Matbe T-Shirts. But a purse or a cushion are in vogue at the moment.

Catherine said...

Thanks! Yes, we thought so too. I like that British crafters are wangling with it - it's sweet!

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