THE people of the Black Country are just about ready to embrace Black Country Day on Monday July 14, and the region is fast becoming festooned with Black Country flags which are also stamping their presence not only nationally (our mate Ray James flies the BC flag in the Highlands of Scotland) but even internationally.
A Black Country flag hangs proudly in the shop window at Bugle House and over the past few weeks it has drawn a lot of attention from passers-by, and many pubs are now flying a flag that is becoming more recognisable every day. If you are flying the BC flag, please send us some details and a picture and we will see if we can build up a gallery.
In the meantime Andy Muckley has sent us a picture of himself on a camping trip to Greenacres Flying Club near Aldridge where he can often be seen flying his model aeroplane. He had a bostin time repainting the livery on his model in Black Country colours and in the BC flag design, and made sure he hoisted the BC flag to stake his claim. He was aware the flag was flying upside down at the time, but assured us, "It looks just as good which ever way round it is."
Mary Skidmore from Wordsley told us about her son Warren Skidmore who is involved in the Thirty Metre Telescope project on the other side of the world. As far as Warren is concerned you can take the mon out of the Black Country but you can't take the Black Country out of the mon, and since he acquired his BC flag he has taken it everywhere with him and sent us a picture from Canada.
We were intrigued to find out more about the TMT project and asked Warren for a few details. He told us: "The TMT project has 6 partners and Canada is one of them. The project office where I work is in Pasadena, California, and I've been involved for the past 12 years, and this year we are due to start building the telescope.
"I'm an astronomer by trade and my job is to make sure the design of the observatory, which is being built in Hawaii, is optimised to tackle the leading astronomical questions of the day such as how the universe was formed and what sort of a threat asteroids pose to the earth, etc.
"I've been trying to take photos of myself with the BC flag ever since I brought it back to the US. Here I am standing by a prototype segment of the finished Thirty Metre Telescope which was presented to the Canadian astronomical community in recognition of their contribution to the project."
Needless to say Warren is a busy man and wherever he has been in the world he has always theoretically flown the flag for his home turf. But now, with an officially recognised symbol to take with him wherever he goes, he can fly the BC flag in a very practical way.