Scotland

Glasgow 2014: Which flags will fly inside Games venues?

Flag waving Image copyright ALLSPORT

Glasgow's Commonwealth Games will officially begin with the opening ceremony at Celtic Park.

For 11 days, more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories will compete in 17 sports, with the hope that years of tough training will culminate in a medal win.

They will be cheered on by more than one million fans inside the 13 official venues, with hundreds of millions more watching from around the world.

So, the big question is how many flags will we see, and which ones?

Which flags will be on show at the opening ceremony?

Image copyright AP

Celtic Park will have three flags officially flying inside the stadium.

These are the "protocol set", made up of:

  • The flag of the home nation (Scotland)
  • The flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation
  • And the flag of the home organising committee (Glasgow 2014)

Of course, the opening ceremony involves a representative of each team coming out and waving their flag proudly too, so you will get a chance to see the national colours of every competing team.

Look out then for judoka Euan Burton - seen at the top of this page - who has been chosen as Scotland's flag bearer.

Can I bring my flag?

Image copyright AFP

Absolutely. It wouldn't be referred to as the "Friendly Games" if they banned all flags.

There are a few restrictions, however. The rules are...

You are NOT allowed to enter a Games venue with any flags or banners larger than one metre by two metres. And you can't take in lightweight handles longer than one metre.

So, dig out your Saltire, St George's Cross, Y Ddraig Goch (that's the red dragon) or whichever team's flag you were planning to bring, and get measuring.

So I can bring my 'Yes' or 'No Thanks' saltire?

Image copyright Getty Images

Well hold on, some flags will not be allowed to fly. Political flags.

Both sides of the independence debate have agreed not to use Glasgow 2014 for political gain anyway.

But even if you wanted to, well, it's against the rules.

Glasgow 2014 Venue Regulation 6.18 states that no flags are allowed to enter a venue - or the vicinity of any Games venue - if they are normally associated with causes, affiliations or organisations.

Will we see the Union Jack?

Image copyright Thinkstock

Yes. The Union Jack features on the flags of a number of Commonwealth Games teams, in the top left corner.

The flags of Australia and New Zealand, to name a couple.

And when the BBC asked the organisers of Glasgow 2014 if spectators could wave a standard Union Flag, they said they could. Although they added that the flag size policy would be applied.

You are not allowed, however, to bring the flag of a country not competing in the Games. So no USA flags, for example.

Whose flags are these anyway?

The Commonwealth Games offers you the chance to spot flags you wouldn't normally see.

Here we have the three-legged Isle of Man flag. Underneath is the flag of Niue. The flag with the shield in the centre belongs to Kenya. And the final one, with a tree planted in the middle, is, of course, the Norfolk Island.

Why not have a go at naming some on your own? Trying to correctly identify flags can be a fun little game.

As our Commonwealth Games flags quiz proves. Enjoy.

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