Thursday 19 October 2017

Venetia Rainey: The day Olympic flag went missing just before opening ceremony

British athlete John Mark lights the Olympic Flame at the opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium, London
British athlete John Mark lights the Olympic Flame at the opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium, London

IF YOU look closely at pictures from the 1948 Olympics opening ceremony, the last Games to be held in Britain, you might notice the British flag is smaller than the others and is flying from a brass-tipped pole, rather than the standard wooden-tipped one.

But without the quick thinking of Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute-mile, the British team might not have had anything to march behind in the parade of athletes at all.

Despite a truck-full of flags, it quickly emerged that the Union flag was missing.

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