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Thu, 2 July 2020

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Number 10 denies Union Jack on Boris Johnson’s plane in £1m refurb is painted upside down

Number 10 denies Union Jack on Boris Johnson’s plane in £1m refurb is painted upside down

Number 10 said the flag on the plane was painted according to protocol (PA)

2 min read

Number 10 has denied the Union Jack painted on the Prime Minister’s official plane as part of an almost £1million refurbishment is upside down.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said the reason the colours on the national flag appear to be wrongly aligned on the tail fin of the RAF aircraft, is because protocol is that it is decorated as if it is on a flag pole.

He said: “So as a result, when you look from the left side, it will be visible in the normal sense if you view it from the right side it will be inverted. So it is on properly.”

The comments came after the public got a first sighting of the newly-renovated plane on Thursday after it took off from an air base in Cambridgeshire.

There had been criticism of the decision to spend £900,000 re-painting the RAF Voyager, which is also used by the Royal Household, with United Kingdom branding.

But the Royal Air Force said the “Vespina” aircraft was previously “visually indistinguishable from the rest of the Operational Voyager Fleet”, adding: “This external paint scheme will better reflect its VIP mission and contribution to ‘Global Britain’.” 

And a source confirmed there was no issue with the flag on the rear of the plane after social media users suggested the diagonal stripes were in the wrong order, making it appear to be the wrong way up.

They said: “The design is correct in all respects and carefully follows the correct protocol for displaying the Union Flag on an aircraft.” 

They added: “When viewing the starboard side (right hand side), this can give the mistaken impression that the design is backwards, or upside down, when in fact the observer is simply viewing the reverse side of the flag.

“This protocol is not unique to the UK. A simple online search for images of the United States’ Air Force One starboard side will show that an identical convention has been followed.”

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