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Black Cravats

Last modified: 2011-12-23 by rob raeside
Keywords: black cravats | mourning customs |
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I watching the tv coverage of the crowds in St Peter's Square I noticed that many of the groups of pilgrims and mourners were carrying their various national flags. Many of these wore mourning cravats - the ones which I noticed in particular were Poland, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, the Philippines, and either Slovakia or Slovenia (I couldn't see the image clearly). Were these impromptu gestures or are there national policies governing the use of such mourning symbols?
Ron Lahav, 4 April 2005

I believe that these are impromptu gestures, indeed, and that there are in general no national rules on how to wear hand-held flags in mourning. Certainly it is impractical to carry around the flags on half staff and I do not think it is done anyway. So wearing a black cravat is a pragmatic thing to do.

Anyway, I think that many of these impromptu cravats were inspired with the use of black cravats on the White-Yellow bicolours hoisted on the entrance of the Episcopal palace in Krakow these days, the site that is, I guess, much on the TV screens everywhere.
Željko Heimer, 4 April 2005