Day of Staff Sea Check, we're all lined up in the hangar, FOSTies on the jetty waiting for colours to finish: Bosun's Mate smartly hoists the Jack up the Ensign Staff. PO(M) goes ******* burzequack, rest of Ship's Company try not to giggle, CO now dreads the rest of BOST........
In the days when Colours was the perk of the Comms Dept and this happened, we'd get a right slagging by the ships company, "How can you be so F***ing stupid as to pull a flag up upside down, it's not rocket science! Never get a Dabber doing that!"
Apparently, you do!
There was also one of the lads that tied the big ensign around the bottom of the Ensign Staff like you do to stop it flapping around before Colours but attached a Boat Ensign to the Halyard. He then preceeded off watch and wondered why he was piped to the bridge at the rush straight after the Carry On while a number of people were pissing themselves.
Going back a few years there was a Chinese frigate going into Pompey, Ark Royal being the senior ship in port at the time had the honour of hoisting the Chinese national flag up there masts, only instead they decided to hoist the flag ot Taiwan! Doh!!
In my days as an RO(G)/LRO(G) I found myself offing my lid in front of the CO on more than one occasion attempting to explain/waffle why I wasn't either at colours or why my colour party had shot through!
One of these occasions and the one that sticks in my memory was when on the Hermione when in 87 we paid a visit to Douglas, IOM for the annual Manx ceremonies. On my day of duty we had ceremonial colours as the guest of honour was Princess Margaret... to cut a long story short the duty watch of RO's for that day had been ashore the night before and the 3 of us were adrift for the cermony (1 x Prep & 2 x Ensign), we all got a shake at about 3 minutes to 0800 telling us we needed to be on the flight deck sharpish. My lasting memory of the whole event was running aft onto the 182 deck, climbing the ladder and the first thing I saw on peering through the hatch was Princess Margaret with the Skipper next to her tapping his foot and non too chuffed. Colours took place (late) and defaulters ensued once we'd left the IOM, the 3 of us were at the table together, the Skipper went ape and he took in excess of 350 big ones from the 3 us, getting fined over 100 squidlies back in 87 certainly hurt! I didn't learn my lesson either!
On the Quarterdeck, ensign in hand, 0755, unfastened Inglefield clips and found one end leaving my fist and rising all the way to the top. Managed to heave myself up the ensign staff and grabbed hold of said end. Felt a right twat and wasn't very popular with the OOD either.