Library flag rumpus
Many years ago, when I worked on a national newspaper, a new editor arrived with a set of house rules.
Or tidy house rules, since these involved sweeping our desks of all belongings at the end of each day.
He was even known to take a can of Mr Sheen round the newsroom himself - and give the desks a final polish.
Journalists are not the tidiest of creatures - I have a colleague who claims to be cultivating a collection of rotting oranges on his desk for scientific reasons - but one day that old newspaper cutting/theatre programme/council agenda will provide a vital piece of information for a story you've been working on.
On a personal level, it's also a chance to bring a little individuality to your workspace whether that's a family photo, a bunch of flowers or those aforementioned rotten oranges.
Harmless too, unless you work in a call centre, share your desk or accidentally eat one of the decomposed oranges.
Not so at the National Library of Scotland though, where there's been a right old rumpus about flags.
According to a series of emails, released to SNP MSP Christine Grahame, a member of staff was told to remove several Saltires, a Lion Rampant and a red tartan chair from his work station.
It was, according to Director of Customer Services Alex Miller, a nationalistic display "more appropriate to the football terraces."
Ms Miller's concern, she said, was that the display might intimidate non-Scottish colleagues.
When she returned two weeks after the first email to find the offending flags and tartan chair still in place - not to mention a movie calendar she found offensive - she personally took down some flags herself and put them in the culprit's in-tray.
It was at that point that Ms Grahame was alerted and tracked down the incriminating email conversation.
She was so outraged that she wrapped herself in a giant saltire and posed for photos on the steps of the library.
Ms Grahame said the incident was a "completely unacceptable slur on Scotland's national flag", but the National Library, in turn, insisted it hadn't banned anything.
According to Martyn Wade, National Librarian, "We merely asked a single individual to remove what we considered to be an excessive display of large flags from a desk in a shared, professional work area, and we would have done so regardless of what the flag was or indeed any other adornment."
Meanwhile, back on the stack floor - which is a grey and gloomy place, beneath George IV Bridge - staff are no doubt wondering whether they've all accidentally dozed off and ended up on the pages of George Orwell's 1984.