back to article London Olympics shop in Union Jack outrage

We suspect that whoever is responsible for outsourcing this particular London Olympics commemorative keyring to a Chinese manufacturer may shortly be dancing the Tyburn jig, once Her Maj Liz II gets wind of just what has happened to the Union Jack*: The keyring with union flag colours reversed Mercifully, this trio of " …


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  1. rpjs

    The weird thing is

    They got the proportions of the various crosses right. Although it is upside down as well.

    1. It wasnt me
      Thumb Down

      No its not.

      If the hoist is attached to the ring and the top is on the right its correct. If it is enamelled with a reflection on the other side it is also correct. with the top on the left. You cant tell without seeing the other side.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: They got the proportions of the various crosses right.

      Er, no they didn't, at least not according to this.

      It's also the right way up.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Union Jack

    actually it is only a union jack when flown from a Jack Staff

    1. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

      Christ almighty, we've got one

      i) It even says in the article to shut the hell up about that.

      ii) That simply is not true.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Only When on a Jack Staff?


      "Union Jack" is common parlance and has been for years. It's all in the usage you see!

    3. Chad H.

      I've heard that story...

      I've also heard that it was supposedly named for King James II/VI depending on which side of Carlisle you live.

    4. Paul 135


      I prefer the "Union Jack" terminology - it gives it more of a uniqueness.

  3. Lionel Baden

    Well another olympic feat

    The British are going to win this new award

    How many things can you absolutely fuck up completely before the Olympics start.

    Bonus points for all failures during the games.

    1. Chad H.

      I dunno....

      Sydney did a pretty good job of that record...

    2. Glyn 2


      There isn't a big enough building to put the cock-up-ometer on..."winning" the bid in the first place is numbers 1 through 86 gazilliion

      Not to mention there aren't enough numbers in the universe

    3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      I think that award goes to Greece

      I think that Greece has already won that award (although the UK may try to match it) by massively overspending, and putting it all on the credit card without any way of paying for it when the bill arrives.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        on the credit card you say?

        Thats funny because thats exactly what they did do, now the question is can we mount up that debt so high to topple the country?

        anyone fancy a bet?!

      2. Allan George Dyer

        and they...

        started the Olympics thousands of years before they could sell the TV rights, and banned foreigners from taking part.

    4. envmod

      where the hell are you from - krypton?

      what else have we "fucked up" then? fucking idiot.

      1. Glyn 2


        "what else have we "fucked up" then? fucking idiot."

        What about the destruction of a plethora of community centres, churches and the like with no replacements being built, planned to be built or being given the planning permission to be built?

        Or that the building sites split the areas?

        Or that where say in Barcelona, the olympic site was built on the outskirts of the city on a largely derelict site just outside the city centre and part of the money was spent on improving the travel links all around the city, whereas the London site is slap bang in the middle with the travel improvements being put in between the site and the nearest tube stations. How people are supposed to get to those tube stations when the rest of the infrastructure hasn't been improved has been answered with a resounding silence.

        Or that the IOC were only bought over and toured round when the kids were off school as this reduces traffic by a significant amount. As the schools will be in for olympic fortnight, no-one will be able to move.

        1. Lee Dowling Silver badge


          Let's not forget the Olympic clock.

          Or the ticketing controversies that are still going on.

          Or some people don't like what happens to the stadium after the event.

          And the logos/mascots were a bit of a disaster too (hinted at in the article itself).

          And several other little niggles that just don't sit right with a well-planned, well-financed, well-managed, well-thought-through project that it should be for that amount.

          I'll be steering clear of Stratford station and all adjoining stations for the entirety of the Olympics. What idiot honestly thought that was the best place to hold it?

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: hmm

          "Or that the IOC were only bought over"

          So true, so true. Oh, you mean "brought over"?!

          1. Glyn 2


            In light of how IOC/FIFA/insert other governing bodies here go about their business, I stand by "bought"

    5. Andy Livingstone

      Not British

      As we are so often told it is "The London Olympics" not the British Olympics. Britain pays, London enjoys.

      1. skipper

        Re: Not British

        Correction: London pays, the 'VIPs' enjoy.

        I've spent years paying extra council tax to fund the games, and I couldn't even get any tickets.

        Then I'll have to endure the snarled up traffic when half the roads get reserved, and public transport full non-Londoners who think the best place to stand stationary is on the left-hand of escalators and in front of tube and bus doorways.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Did anyone want it ?

          I was in a business meeting in Paris the next morning. While waiting for it to start the 8 of us present started talking about the previous day's event and we found that the only people in the room happy with London winning the bid were the Parisians. Turned out that none of the 8 of us had wanted our own country to win ...

          On the tube side - the day the IOC officials were taken round, all tube trains carried an engineer for safety. As some one else has pointed out, it was also a holiday period so it was quieter. With supposed new facilities being put in place I'm still not sure how they will work. Jubilee, Metropolitan and Northern lines are already over capacity during rush hour, so how they're meant to take all the extra people I'm not sure even the Lord knows.

          1. Paul RND*1000

            Northern Line is involved?

            Well that should offer hours of entertainment right there unless they've done something about the signalling system and wooden-floored vintage trains since the last time I was unlucky enough to experience it.

        2. Stevie


          Need to sprint up escalators in order to get to work on time but find your way blocked by people standing in ignorance of the (unwritten) (non) law about not doing that on the left?

          Simply get up earlier to arrive at work in a timely fashion.

          Tired of arriving at work all sweaty during the summer months?

          Simply stop running up escalators. They (usually) move for a reason.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bah!

            Need to sprint up escalators in order to get to work on time but find your way blocked by people standing in ignorance of the (unwritten) (non) law about not doing that on the left?

            You've never seen ANY of the signs that tell you to stand on the right !


    6. Paul RND*1000

      Does it make me a bad person...

      ...if I only bother watching to see what goes wrong? I'm certainly not interested in any of the sporting activities on offer.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did they ever get the clock started again?

      The official clock in TrafalgarSquare went tits up on the first day of the countdown. Did they ever get someone along to fit a new battery?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Took me a few seconds to catch on

    AC for obvious reasons.

  5. Whitter

    Colour blind

    I don't understand: OK, so they got Lisa Simpson's colouring wrong, but other than that... ;)

  6. The elephant in the room

    Did somebody shoot the one-eyed ghost sperm thing?

    It seems to be shaking its fist in rage at its mortal chest wound.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Reminds me of Bilou

  7. Anonymous Coward

    No ...

    ... the colours are as intended. How many local authorities would have objected to the Union Jack?

  8. Stewart McKenna

    Poorly made in China

    You're kidding, right? No one noticed the colours are wrong?

    The only Blue should be the background of white diagonal St. Andrews Cross (Saltire)

    It's an abomination, up there with the Kate and Harry wedding plate.

    Really go read a book called "Poorly Made in China" if you want to know why

    1. Sir Cosmo Bonsor


      The Kate and Harry wedding *mug* was clearly a wind up, and was exposed as such.

      Trouble is, some people don't have a sense of humour.

    2. Scott Marshall

      Oh - I thought that someone else had joined the union....

      When I first saw the flag, I wondered whether Norway had joined the Union.

      I mean, when you consider the colours of the Norwegian flag, doing the colour reversal but keeping the various crosses would allow Norway to become part of the Union, whilst retaining the flavour of both flags.

      Maybe the Chinese know something to which rest of the world is not (yet) privy?

      Of course, this is really going to bollix up some other flags around the world (eg Australia, New Zealand & Fiji to name but three).

      10....9....8....7....6....5....4....3....2.....1.....0 - Troll Baits are go.....!

  9. steveie_b

    Pedant alert ......Union Flag \ Jack

    The OED defines the Union Jack as "Originally and properly, a small British Union Flag flown as the jack of a ship"

    However, an Admiralty Circular of 1902 noted that the two names were interchangeable, and Parliament confirmed the terminology in 1908 by declaring 'the Union Jack should be regarded as the national flag.

    With acknowledgment to "The Union Jack, the story of the British Flag" by Nick Groom

  10. Paranoid Consultant

    At least it is out of stock...

    but the miniature Concorde with the wrong Union flag over it isn't.,default,pd.html?cgid=keyrings

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Ah, Concorde.

      Hugely expensive with massive cost overruns, tickets cost a bomb and it ensures that the filthy rich are ferried around in luxury while the hoi polloi take lesser modes of transport.

      Nope, no idea why they'd want to associate that with Concorde.........

      1. MrT


        ... here's another

        BA originally only charged a small % increase for "Concorde Class" over First Class tickets. They realised that the service was tanking, so they did a poll of passengers to find out how much they thought they would have to pay for a Concorde ticket - the answer came back far higher than the roughly "First+10%", so BA obligingly charged what people thought and the service went profitable.

        If I might enquire, Sir, how much do you think tickets to see the Men's 100m Final should cost...?


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        i Wouldnt consider the Olympics and concorde should have anything in common at all, one was a fantastic idea that pushed the boundries but ultimately ended up being a flop because of short sighted individuals the other was ......oh wait a second

  11. Clotcud
    Thumb Down

    not the only balls up

    they have the same colour scheme on a 2012 concord toy.....,default,pd.html?cgid=Collectables%20Die%20Cast%20Vehicles

  12. Richard IV

    But it does look like a Jack

    It's not too far off being the Russian Navy Jack.

    Yes, I should get out more.

    1. Muscleguy
      Thumb Up


      Thank you, I knew it looked wrong but familiar.

  13. AndyJT

    Another thing

    One of my friends saw this article and wanted to buy me it as a joke. However when he got the postage charge (25 pounds as I live in the Czech Republic), he almost died.

    By contrast, it only costs 10 pounds to post an Xbox 360S to the Czech Republic via

  14. Pondule

    Talk about the obvious

    The colours are wrong, it should be purple and green.,default,pd.html?q=jack

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The elephant in the room

    Is that most of the merchandise has "XXX Olympic Games" written all over it.

    Mmmmmmmmmm......olympic porn.............drooooooooooool

  16. kain preacher

    Silly me

    I thought a country hosting the Olympics was suppose to be a thing of pride and joy. Based on what I'm reading looks like it's a fubar contest . They are not even trying to hide the fact that they are milking this for every thing they can get . Not even trying to hide this 2 ring circus of fuck ups.

    Or did I miss some thing ? But hey the UK still has longways to show up Greece .

  17. Dave Ross

    Fail to see the problem..

    ..unless you also have a problem with the advertising that has been running for quite a while showing the flag in different shades of green...

  18. HP Cynic

    Triple Header

    The Official Logo is absolutely awful

    The Official Characters are terrible and probably scary to kids

    So why not cock-up the flag too and get a triple-whammy on one keyring!?

    I bet every build up to the Olympics is a total mess but some are more open than others about how badly it's going. We Brits pretty much only celebrate failure and resent success so this slow-moving train-wreck is perfect for us!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The other way of looking at this

      Is that anyone who bought one of these horrors probably has a nice collectable for The Antiques Roadshow'.

  19. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    I've just realised...

    "XXX Olympiad" and the, um, Lisa Simpson logo. It's all starting to make sense now.

    1. Chris 69

      XXX Olympics

      At least that's something we could come first in...

      ... no medals there then.

      1. Ted Treen

        There wouldn't be anyway...

        in XXX terms, you lose points for coming first...

  20. Roger Hughes
    Paris Hilton


    To maximise throughput on escalators, everybody should stand still using the whole width of the thing. The traditional London arrangement means that you can get up it faster by walking, but when you have rush hour or Olympic crowds, you won't save as much time as the extra time you spent queuing to get on it in the first place. These foreigners know a thing or two, see.

    Paris because I prefer the metro, obviously.

    1. dylan 4

      I think you'll find the escalator capacity

      would be substantially higher if everybody walked up the escalators using the whole width, as opposed to everybody standing still.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    It took me a while to figure out what the outrage was.

    The colors have been inverted. I know this seems to be somewhat ridiculous to point out, but I had to consult Wikipedia to contrast the image of the proper UK flag in their article on the UK with the keychain image to figure this out.

    You see, I'm an American. (I'll get my coat when I'm done saying my thing.)

    I couldn't figure that out from the article, because it is not mentioned at all, in the article text, nor by means of a comparison image, because none were provided. To my eyes, the shape of the flag looked correct, and I could not immediately identify what the outrage was, as the article no doubt expected.

    It was a bit of a disservice, honestly - foreign readers may not be intimately familiar enough with the Union Jack to discern whether the colors have been swapped (how many of you would immediately recognize if the blue and red were swapped on the Stars and Bars,) but also the article would seem to confound those with color perception impairments unable to tell the difference between red and blue, to say nothing of those with no sight whatsoever who have the article read to them by their computers, or those who browse without images.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      (how many of you would immediately recognize if the blue and red were swapped on the Stars and Bars)

      I'd bet near-as-be-damned everybody. *easily* 9 out of 10 over-fives. 99+% of adults.

  22. Winkypop Silver badge

    Health and Safety at the XXX Olympiad

    High dive: Banned, too dangerous

    Also: Shooting, boxing, high-jump, horse-jumping, wrestling, cycling and synchronised swimming*

    * unless conducted in an empty pool.

  23. greenmantle

    Union Jack

    It's only important to make the difference between Union Jack and Union Flag when hanging out in the Senior Service. It's important there as the two are threated differently and can lead to diplomatic incidents. (i.e. it can be used to announce intentions depending on where it's flown)

    The rest of the world quite rightly doesn't give a monkey's.

    I'll ge my coat, it's the one with the slightly wider stripes on the collar....

  24. tiggertaebo

    "Lisa Simpson administering oral pleasure"

    Thanks for that image.. now that's all I can see when I see that damn logo.

  25. smr

    lack of imagination

    took me a ages to spot 'Lisa Simpson administering oral pleasure'

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