The Red Duster

12 . 04 . 15

On one of the walls of our workshop, between the rack that holds wooden surfboards in various stages of completion (from half-done to old-faithfuls still dripping with sea water) and the tool wall hangs a big red flag with a union jack in the top left corner.  It’s the one concession to “soft furnishings” in the workshop and being the only large block of bright colour on the wall it often draws some interest from visitors who ask what it is.

Well, rest assured that it’s not an enormous declaration of tub-thumping nationalism.  The Red Ensign (or “Red Duster”, as it’s affectionately known) is the flag flown by ships of the British Merchant Navy and British civilian vessels, and we thought that if we were going to hang anything on our wall then a flag that signifies our country’s strong connection with the sea was appropriate.  When the tall ships racing fleet visited Cornwall last summer, many of the beautiful vessels had a Red Ensign hanging from their stern.  Our Red Duster is an old and “well used” linen specimen and it bears the marks of a life well lived before it was pinned up here at Otter.  We’re not sure where it hung before but can only wonder as to the waters that it fluttered over in it’s previous life.  To us it’s a great reminder of the maritime history of the region that we call home and a proud sign that our wooden surfboards are crafted from British-grown timber.

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