French town apologizes for missing Union Jack in D-Day decorations


A small town has apologized for omitting the Union Jack from its D-Day commemorations. The town of Carentan, known for its historical significance during World War II, has assured that

this oversight will be corrected and announced plans to honor British contributions in a special way during this year’s memorial event.

"We admit to a simple and honest mistake," said a spokesman for Carentan's town hall. Pictures from previous years show the streets adorned with bunting featuring the flags of all Allied nations, including the Union Jack. However, this year's decorations display flags of all EU member states, along with the flags of the EU, Canada, and the US, but noticeably omit the British flag.

Despite this error, Carentan is committed to celebrating the contributions of all Allied forces. "Carentan will play 'God Save the King' alongside the 'Star-Spangled Banner' and other national anthems at the official ceremony on June 2," the spokesman added, highlighting the town’s dedication to fostering good relations.

The Union Jack has been a prominent feature in Carentan's annual D-Day decorations, with cascades of poppies incorporating the flag adorning the town hall and church since May 10. This artwork, created by local resident Tansy Forster, pays tribute to the town's historical significance and the sacrifices made by Allied forces.

During the D-Day operation, Carentan was a crucial target due to its strategic location. The town served as the only crossing point between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, making its capture essential for the success of the operation. The battle to secure Carentan lasted six days, with intense shelling destroying key infrastructure. Finally, on June 12, 1944, American forces liberated the town, which remained under Allied control for the remainder of the war.

Though British troops did not directly participate in the liberation of Carentan, their role in the broader D-Day operation was significant. In recognition of this, the town erected a monument to the 101st Airborne Division, which played a pivotal role in the battle.

The omission of the Union Jack this year was noted by visitors, with some expressing disappointment. Neil Geddes, a 59-year-old engineer from Lancashire, criticized the oversight, highlighting the importance of British involvement in the war.

The town hall spokesman acknowledged the error and explained that environmental considerations had led to the switch from plastic to fabric banners. Unfortunately, the new banners did not include the Union Jack, but replacements have been ordered.

"Although no British troops were directly involved in the fighting to liberate Carentan, we do not exclude any of our allies in our continuing effort to preserve the memory of ALL our liberators," the spokesman said. He referenced RAF pilot Raymond Dean, who was shot down near Carentan in 1941, as an example of the town's commitment to honoring all who fought for freedom.

As the 80th anniversary of D-Day approaches, Carentan remains dedicated to honoring the legacy of all Allied forces, ensuring their sacrifices are remembered and celebrated. Photo by Engyles, Wikimedia commons.


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