Saturday, April 05, 2003
UK forces take steps to prevent further friendly fire incidents.
British troops in the Gulf have ordered Union Jack flags over the internet to ward off "friendly fire" from their US allies, a British daily said today.
"In a conflict in which 'friendly fire' has claimed the lives of more servicemen than the enemy, the Union Jack may provide better protection for British soldiers than a Kevlar helmet or any piece of body armour," The Times said.
Staff at Britain's largest flag makers in Swansea, south Wales, are working flat out to meet the demand from soldiers in the Gulf who want to identify themselves and their vehicles to their US allies as clearly as possible, The Times reported.
"The troops want British flags for identity purposes to ward off US planes," Charles Ashburner, managing director of United Flag Traders, told the newspaper.
"We had a load of them (British troops) in before the war and they seemed more scared of the Americans than the Iraqis. They didn't want them just for show - they wanted them for protection," he said.
"Enemy vehicles dead ahead, sir."
"Prepare to fire."
"Locked and loaded... hang on, sir, they're waving the Union Jack."
"Hmm, so they are. Cancel previous order."
"Yes sir... whoops, I accidentally hit the launch button, sir."
"Never mind, Sergeant, I'm sure their Union Jacks will protect them from our smart missiles..."