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There's money in them there flags

As Harry Kane bagged his hattrick against Panama in the World Cup in Russia it seemed as though the massed ranks of England football supporters came alive with waving flags.

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Supporters have customised England flags as they support their team in Russia. Pic: Reuters

And in particular the Cross of St George, the flag of the enigmatic patron saint of the English, and conveniently a flag that lends itself to customisation.

At first glance the flags may appear to be home-made or simply adapted from flags purchased from army surplus stores, but you would be wrong in many cases. You may be familiar with the eccentric Barmy Army, a boozy patriotic group of English supporters of cricket and other sports including football but there is also a firm called Barmy Flags based in Saddleworth. Yes, supporter flags are big business.

Barmy Flags says: “At Barmy Flags we’ve been making UK Football flags and have supplied fans from all over the world with sports supporter’s banners since the 1990’s. We offer a friendly, bespoke, made to measure service and pride ourselves on meeting each of our customer’s individual needs. Whether it’s a classic UK football flag design you are looking for, a European ‘ultra’ style banner or something a little more left of field, we can help. Our UK football flags are made from high quality colour-fast woven material, are stitched not printed and come complete with rope ties to make hanging your flag that little bit easier.”

You may be familiar with the eccentric Barmy Army, a boozy patriotic group of English supporters of cricket and other sports including football

In keeping with the traditional English love of all things treasured and cherished, the firm says they are ‘one of the last few remaining companies that use traditional methods of manufacturing including stitched letters, embroidered crests, French seams and double hems.’ And long may they continue.

Of course, they are not the only firm who supplies the Barmy Armies of these isles with fluttering statements of their love of the beautiful game. Football Flags of Farnham Common in Buckinghamshire have an entire range from stick flags, car flags, scarves and textile banners that can cover the front of a house or half a football terrace of supporters. Plus, there’s many more firms that specialise it this niche market including Mad About Flags, Ultra Signs and Banner World as well as many sign-making companies that have a side-line in customised flags for patriotic men and women. How far England go in the World Cup is not really the point. As members of the Barmy Army it’s all about keeping the dream alive that football will one day come home and of course keeping the sign industry in business.

Will England will the World Cup? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter.

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@signlink.co.uk

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