Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Monday, 3 July 2006 12:25 UK

10 uses for an unwanted England flag

Baboon with flag
A few weeks ago everyone wanted one

Millions of England fans are waking up to unwanted flags on houses and cars. A few suggestions on what to do with them.

1. Use them to dry your eyes. Despite most flags being made from synthetic materials, typically woven polyester, some of them can be absorbent enough for your most lachrymose moments.

2. Continue to display your England flag with pride (part I). If anybody asks, point out England are still in the competition, Saturday was all just a bad dream, lightning never strikes so many times, it's going to be an England v Germany final. Place hands over ears and repeat "naa, naa, naa, I can't hear you".

Tim Henman holds an England flag
Two symbols of summer sporting failure

3. If you're a Sun reader you could consider using the flags as stuffing for an effigy of the newly-crowned "least popular man in the Premiership" Cristiano Ronaldo. Don't burn it though as some polyester can give off pollutants.

4. Recycle it. Some polyester fibre can be recycled effectively.

5. Return them to China. They made them.

6. If you know anyone who's a dab hand with a sewing machine why not consider turning the flags into clothing and shipping them out to developing countries.

7. Bleach flag, convert into cross of St Andrew, get behind Andrew Murray. There isn't a single French, German, Portuguese or Italian player left in the men's singles at Wimbledon. So frankly, who cares about the World Cup. (Correct at time of going to press).

Two England fans shelter themselves from the rain
It won't make a very effective umbrella

8. Continue to display your England flag with pride (part II). England kick off the World Lacrosse championships on 14 July. Best of all the tournament is being held in London (Ontario). Come on England.

9. Try and get a refund or exchange. The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 makes it an offence for a trader to knowingly or recklessly make misleading statements about services. Any flag trader who suggested England enjoyed a vague chance of actually winning the thing should surely feel obliged to offer you at least a France flag in exchange.

10. Save them for next time. Euro 2008 is in Switzerland and Austria. With David Beckham likely to head off to spend more time with his hair, England might really have a chance of winning. There's only 705 days to go.


Add your comments on this story, using the form below.

Remove the red bits, and hey presto! Four handy little white flags, all ready for our next act of surrender!
Glenn, Ashby, UK

Why not see if you have any Templar fanatics around, or just host a Templar theme party knowing you have perfect tabard costumes. Put the disappointment of both The Da Vinci code film and the world cup behind us with lashings of fine English ale.
J Reeves, Faversham, Kent

Still fly it with pride! This is where the yanks have us beat. They show their colours whether right or wrong. Love your country as there's a helluva lot worse places in the world to live.
Keith Pooley, Welland, Ont. Canada

I have actually sewn two Car Flags together to make a beautiful pair of swimming trunks for my holiday in Portugal in three weeks time. Can't wait ....
Pete Johnson, Merseyside

What? They don't have the facility to fly at half-mast? That was a trifle short-sighted.
Pete Nightingale, Reading UK

Give them a lesson in humility by sending them to Africa to see the thousands dying daily for want of food, drugs and medecine. Oh! You said unwanted FLAGS? I thought you said unwanted WAGS.
Brian, Paisley, Scotland

I plan to wear mine as a sarong and bring back the craze that Mr Beckham started. Although I'm sure its nasty polyester will cause sweating and possibly rashes. Such is the price of patriotism.
Matt Hindle, Sheffield, UK

They should now be flown at half-mast and all drivers adopt a quivering bottom lip. I find a lemon stored close at hand in the glove compartment can also help induce the full "Gazza" at traffic lights.
Paul, Winchester

Use them for bandages for the injuries on all the poor little Portugese who keep falling over on the pitch.
Katherine Luxton, Uckfield, East Sussex

With a slight modification they can be turned into Georgian flags and sold to Georgia ready for their next revolution!!
Dave, Portsmouth

I've donated all of my flags to a local badger and fox sanctuary. They make ideal bedding for injured badgers, but cannot be used again afterwards as all badgers carry ticks and fleas and foxes germs can be hazardous to humanoids.
Nicola, Gosforth

Put your flag in the washing machine on a hot wash until it becomes pink. Then you can easily turn it into a big girls blouse!
Tony Grant, Hilversum, The Netherlands

I think England have been "flagging" throughout the tournament and their abject display on Saturday would certainly have made St George cross.
Ron Clarke, Morpeth

64 St. Georges flags laid out in an 8x8 square will form a grid of 9x9 white squares. Perfect for a giant Sudoku.
Seth, Edinburgh

Or send the larger plain St. George's cross flags to us at St. George's Parish Church, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1AX where we'll happily be able to use them on our church tower.
Stuart Roberts, Beckenham, Kent

Why not donate them to the Red Cross? They seem to have a continuing need for red crosses...
Jon, Cambridge, UK

Donate them to Brighton Morris Men. We always dance with hankies bearing the cross of St. George.
Nick Hearn, Brighton Sussex

"Baboon with flag" - the description of the picture at the top of the article sums up the whole flag hysteria perfectly!
David, Leeds

Why not ship the flags to Turkey, after all St George was Turkish!
Stephen, Cardiff

Rip them up and do that "funky" hankie waving dance where you skip around in circles whilst thinking fondly of some guy called Morris. Alternatively you could give them to Gordon Brown so he can decorate his new flat and try and convince himself he is English after all. The rumour in Scotland is that he is about to change his name to Neville... !
Mark Hirst, Perth, Scotland

Cut it into small square sheets, and keep them handy in your bathroom in case you run out of loo paper.
Mark, St Albans

Get your largest flag tie it into a sack then put all your smaller flags inside like a bag. Then set fire to them.
Jamie Campbell, Sheffield

Why not send them to Portugal? After all, St George is their patron saint as well
Stephen Buxton, Coventry, UK

Cut the flag into squares sized according to the width of the red bit. Rearrange to form a red & white check and use as either an oversize Italian-style tablecloth, or to support Croatia in Euro 2008. The remaining white squares can be joined to form a simple white flag to wave when England get to the next penalty shootout.
Sam Strevens, New York

Continue to fly the flags at Half Mast as a sign of mourning about England being knocked out of the World Cup.
Craig Turp, Coventry

Send them to the Red Cross.This will enable them to mark many vehicles to send to England to help out the suicidal fans.
Gary Rees, Watford



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