The Old Flag Pole from the British Embassy

The Old Flag Pole from the British Embassy

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The other day I wrote a blog about the Queen Victoria statue in the British Embassy in Bangkok (see here). This was originally at the British Consulate alongside the river. The statue and the flagpole were moved to the present day British Embassy in the early 1920’s. After I tweeted about the statue, @Journotopia asked about the flagpole. I then threw that question out to my followers:

Andrew Marshall@Journotopia: George Scott, the subject of my book The Trouser People, bought the flagpole while chargé d’affaires during the 1890s. It collapsed during the raising ceremony. “Very bad luck,” observed Scott.

British Ambassador – @KentBKK: There are two flagpoles now. One near the main entrance, and the other just next to Queen Victoria

Former British Ambassador – @AsifAAhmad: Old wooden flag pole made into benches and table now by the Embassy klong. Was ship mast from HongKong.

British Ambassador – @KentBKK: Bangkok Legation flagstaff mentioned in a rather chilling tale on pp12-13 of W A R Wood’s “Consul in Paradise”

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At one time, the flag pole of the British Consulate was the tallest flag pole in Bangkok. It was originally a merchant navy ship’s mast.  Even though it was moved to the British Embassy in the early 1920’s, it was later replaced by two more flagpoles. A few years ago, the Embassy carpenter made it into two benches and a table. The remaining pieces are under a pile of wood in the work area of the gardener. Hopefully something can be done with them before their history is lost and forgotten. At the very least, there should be an inscription on the benches saying that they were made from the original flagpole dating back to the 1890’s.

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