What’s Going On With The Flags Buh?

08/08/22

Saturday’s match prompted a few cries of 'where are the flags lads?' so here's Maddie Mackenzie to tell you all about it....

Given they’ve not been seen much lately, we’ve received several questions about the flag displays: where are they, can we spread them around the ground, do we have any new plans, etc.

The flag situation has been complicated since Covid, but I’ll do my best to outline what’s gone on and what’s to come.

Things got a bit complicated

It took a long time to get the Premier League’s approval to have the regular handheld flags out last season. We were told there was a risk of infection due to lots of people handling the same items, and there were issues involved in collecting them at half time. When we did get the green light we had to change our ways of operating quite drastically, and that ended up with a fair few flags going missing – which made sense, as the club had previously their own display against Liverpool, and we had issues getting them to display our ‘please leave your flags here’ signs.

It felt as if enthusiasm might be waning

Eventually, we were able to return to a slightly butchered version of normal but we were getting the feeling the Lower Barclay wasn’t really enthusiastic about the flags anymore. I’m not sure if it was because everyone had become used to them, or because the team was performing poorly, or simply that people were fed up with me hitting them in the face with flag poles (I’m sorry, you’d think three years of this would make me less clumsy, but apparently not).

Whatever the reason we started getting quite a bit of grief. Most people were quietly uninterested, which is understandable, but there were a few folk who really took issue with us and the flags.

We tried something different

We decided to move the flags to the River End for a match to give the Barclay a break, and I was really pleased with how it looked. Everyone seemed excited to get their hands on the flags and, on a personal level, it was nice to see the display rather than being in the middle of it! Again, we lost a lot of our inventory due to mixed messages, so we need to do a full review of what we have left, but we’re confident we have enough to make the Barclay resplendent again.

The next project was our 10 large flags in support of Ukraine. These were very well received, and five were auctioned off with five being kept back for use at further matches. Unfortunately, on the afternoon of the Chelsea game, the club pulled their support for these flags and told us we were not to display them before the match. They gave us no explanation for this. It did grate to hear Chelsea fans chant in support of their owner while our Ukrainian flags sat in a cupboard underneath the Barclay.

That incident added to our overall feeling of ‘should we really keep doing this?’ and you may have noticed that we did not display the handheld flags again that season.

Behind the scenes stuff

There was one final project after that: we collaborated with the club on a design for the players to wear on warm up tops in support of Jake Daniels, which is something else we’re very proud of. Other than that we’ve been pretty quiet since Chelsea.

Due to the nature of our displays we’re in constant communication with the club. All of our ideas, from the designs to the physical nature of the display, have to be approved by a number of individuals within the club before we get the green light. We do have ideas for future displays but it’s a complicated process, and things can become time consuming.

We did have ideas for the first home game of the season, creative differences between us and the club meant this didn’t happen. Our second choice was to use one of our older surfers, which we have not been able to display due to Covid. As they’ve been stored outside they are now not suitable for display – we have been working with the club in an attempt to resolve this.

So.

To cut a long story short, the flags’ absence is down to a mixture of us feeling a bit dispirited as a group and the perceived apathy from the ground towards them. If people want them back, in the form of the displays we’ve been delivering since 2018, we are of course happy to get back into the swing of things.

We often get asked if we can put flags in other areas of the ground. For most matchdays there are three or four of us who put out all the flags in the Barclay, which just isn’t enough people to make doing more than one stand viable – personally I really enjoy seeing the flags in different stands, and having flags in the River End, the Barclay, and a surfer in the South Stand for one 2020 match was a real highlight. If anyone can spare a few hours before kick-off to give us a hand, please get in touch: we’re always on the look out for people to help us out.

We’d love to hear from you

The bottom line is this: if you want to see the flags back, let us know.

A lot of people were telling us they were tired of the flags and wanted a break; we have no idea what the consensus is towards them unless we’re told. I’m keen to state that we don’t want to force things people aren’t interested in, and we also don’t want to tell people what to like. Questions, suggestions, comments, are always welcome. We’re a fan group focused on improving the atmosphere at Carrow Road and we really want people’s views about the best ways to achieve that.

So get in touch, comment on this article, drop us a DM or email and tell us what you’d like to see. Up the Nodge.

P.S. We have nothing to do with the drum, that’s another fan group, but we would quite like one at home matches.

Comments

  1. Sam bezants says:

    Maybe try smaller displays with a small surfer, and the use of some of the larger flags around it? Then move back onto the larger scale displays? If you ever need a hand with displays and putting flags out just drop me a email or DM on Twitter. Always more than happy to help you out 👍

  2. Matt says:

    Really disappointing to hear that. Maybe you could just put a surfer out for the Huddersfield match to test the water?

    I’d love to offer my help, but I sit at the back of the Regency Upper… 😉

  3. Lewis smith says:

    Happy to give a hand putting flags out at home games

  4. ollie says:

    I liked the flags and the idea of rotating them round the ground. I am disappointed that the club is not being more helpful – even simple stuff like storing them appropriately or getting stewards to help.

  5. Ric Fisher says:

    From a personal perspective I felt it was a combination of apathy caused by the team being so woeful and frustration. If ever there was a time to deploy the Ukrainian flags it was the Chelsea game. I really think that when on field results pick up then so will the appetite for pre game displays, even if they’re rotated between the Barclay and River end

  6. Tom says:

    Love the flags, the more the better in my view

  7. Ben Whicker says:

    More flags, more displays!

  8. Tim Kearney says:

    I think it would be great if we could get the flags back in the lower Barclay as in 2018 to 2020. If more cash donations are required to refresh the flags I would be happy to contribute.

  9. Winston Gallagher says:

    I’d love to see the flags back, but I don’t get to many games so I’m not the one waving them. I love seeing them when I’m watching from afar, though.

  10. Darren Riley says:

    We were unique, other fans wished they had it. When in full swing it looked fantastic and I’m sure it gave those players a lift coming out of the tunnel.
    I’d rather see that than hear the poxy outdated embarrassing goal music.

  11. Sophie says:

    As a lower barclayite, fully supportive of the flags. Think some new ‘national’ ones to welcome Nunez and Sara would be ace. We are such an inclusive team/club, we should be celebrating that

  12. Alex says:

    More flags! Fuck the haters!

  13. Peter says:

    Looks like ipswich have taken over the flag waving got to get them back can’t let them be better than us can we lets get them back plz OTBC

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