Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Four Year Flag Fouls

Spot the mistake?

Every 4 years, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) holds their World Cup football competition.

Every 4 years, China goes berserk ranting and raving over a game they have some enthusiasm for (but certainly no talent in).

Every 4 years, businesses of all types hang up flags of the competing countries (which only once ever included China. 2002. They lasted about 20 minutes.)

Every 4 years, the businesses make the same mistake.




(NB. This post makes no mention of a fictional game called ‘soccer’, a term only used by people who play a game which they call ‘football’ but which mainly involves using the hands. Duh!)

. This entry was posted on Friday, June 13th, 2014 at 5:34 pm and is filed under Liuzhou News, Strawberry Fields. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Four Year Flag Fouls”

  1. Jim Mahler Says:

    Actually, “soccer” was the original British name for the sport and was borrowed from you guys by us Americans. Also, the name “football” refers to a game played “on foot” (i.e., by commoners) as opposed to a game played on horseback (i.e., by aristocrats). See That site also answered a question I had about the name of another game you Brits love so much. I’d thought the object of that game was to bludgeon defenseless grasshoppers. (Duh.)

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    The somewhat more authoritative OED disagrees.

    The ‘on foot’ as opposed to ‘on horeseback’ theory is palpable nonsense. The website you refer to is full of hilariously incorrect folk etymologies.

    But what’s wrong with the flags?

    P.S. We find the term “Brits” somewhat offensive. I suppose in a similar way to how many Americans dislike “Yanks”.

  3. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Still no correct answer to the flags question.

  4. Paul Says:

    The Union flag should not be there, as there is no British football team.

  5. Sue Says:

    There is no British national football team in world cup, only England team. Thus it’s wrong to display Union Jack. It should be St George’s Cross.

  6. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Well done Paul and Sue.

    Contrary to widespread opinion, the FIFA World Cup is not a competition between nations but between Football Associations which are members of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA). England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have separate football associations and so are represented separately in the world cup, although only England qualified this time.

    By the way Sue, it’s the “Union Flag”. It is only properly referred to as the “Union Jack” when on board a ship.

  7. Carl Johnson Says:

    Strange that soccer has never really caught on in the US. Maybe because we we can’t produce a real soccer star here? My kids played at it in school, but it doesn’t draw much attention after that.
    As for the Union flag or Union Jack, I once embarrassed my self by pointing out that an English sailing ship in a painting was flying the Union Jack in 1621. As everyone knows the flag was not adopted till 1801!
    Wrong! It was, I think, first designed in the reign of King James the First?…Please correct me if I am wrong? But not officially adopted until the reign of King George the Third?

  8. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    The first version of the Union Jack was created in 1606, indeed under James 1st of England / James 6th of Scotland. It was only used by the navy (hence “Jack”) and was made up of the Scottish and English flags joined together. As the two countries remained independent despite sharing a king, the flag was not used at that time for the UK as the UK didn’t exist.

    Union Jack 1606

    On the 28th of July, 1709, the ‘Jack’ was officially adopted as the national Flag of the UK, during the reign of Queen Anne.

    In 1801, Ireland was added, during the reign of George III, giving us the flag used today.

    Wales does not appear on the flag as it is a principality, not a kingdom.

    The Union Flag

  9. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    At least the US is in the World Cup Finals. China isn’t this time.

  10. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Actually, the Union Flag upside down is identical to the Union Flag the right way up. What is wrong is when the flag is inverted.

  11. Sue Says:

    Thanks about the Union Jack vs. Flag. It’s nice to learn something everyday.

  12. Carl Johnson Says:

    And thanks for the education concerning the flag.
    They never taught us much about that in school here!

  13. keith Says:

    The term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford “-er” abbreviation of the word “association”. To call the game Soccer is absolutely correct. Remember watching Star Soccer on ITV back in England in the seventies.

  14. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    So? The English language originated in England (sort of). Most so-called Americanisms originated in England.

    What does “correct” mean? No one in the UK refers to the game as soccer, today.

    Actually, the first reference recorded by the OED is to ‘socka’, a much more sensible contraction of Association which doesn’t contain an ‘e’. Don’t believe anything you read on Wikipedia unless you find independent confirmation.

    “1889 E. C. Dowson Let. 21 Feb. (1967) 38, I absolutely decline to see socca’ matches.”

    By 1916, it was referred to thus: “1916 Blancroft & Pulvemacher Handbk. Athletic Games (1922) 429 Soccer football, as it is called in America, is the English Association Football.”

    ITV were was probably trying to sell the series (which was only shown in a very limited area) to the US.

    Whatever. it is mainly only North Americans who use the term today.

  15. keith Says:

    The Chinese do not get the concept of Britain and England. To them it is all the same so they will always cock up the george,s cross and th Union Flag.

  16. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Excuse me. It is far from only the Chinese who can’t tell the difference. I am willing to bet 99% of Americans don’t know either. Or most of the world.

  17. Aussie Says:

    Australia also uses the word soccer. But we have an excuse, our football actually uses the feet.

  18. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Australian Rules Football uses a lot more than the feet.

    Soccer will officially become football in Australia next year after the Australian Soccer Association (ASA) announced it would change its name to Football Federation Australia (FFA).

    ASA chairman Frank Lowy said the symbolic move would bring Australia into line with the vast majority of other countries which call the sport football.

    ‘2005 will be one of the most crucial in the history of football in Australia and we will start it off with this symbolic move,’ Lowy said.

    ‘The change in our corporate name is another part of the ongoing process of repositioning the game in Australia.’

    Sydney Morning Herald – December 17, 2004

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

It may take some time for your comment to appear, it is not necessary to submit it again.