Sunday, 21 September 2014

You Don’t Know (Union) Jack

In a historic vote this week, either Scotland tried and failed to gain independence, or Scottish nationalists tried and failed to break up a venerable union.  Depends on your perspective.  In any case, the United Kingdom remains united, so on this occasion I present a representation of British determination in the past.
The Battle of Alexandria, 21 March 1801 – Philip James de Loutherbourg, 1802 (Source)

So according to my diligent Wikipedia research, on March 21, 1801 the British fought the French while en route to Alexandria.  As I am sure you would never have guessed from the painting title.

But I am not a historian.  I just look at pictures and make snide comments.  So let the snideness commence.
Fun fact: Scotsmen get a tassel on their sporran for every pub brawl they win.

Here is a Scottish soldier, pointing as if to say, “Should we no be goin’ intae that battle now?” 
Leg injury, or latest European Leg Scarf fashion?

The commander, however, is injured, and looks either too drunk or too lethargic to make a move.  Mr. Sassy behind him is not about to endorse any plan that might get blood splatters all over his good red coat. The guy with the spyglass is like, “Hmm…by jove, he’s right!  There IS a battle going on!”
The Bobbsey Triplets are distinctly unimpressed.

There is further dissention within the ranks.  These men angrily say, “This man is not to be trusted!  He is both ginger and wearing a skirt!”

Of course, it was a terrifying event, and not everyone was smug.  Some of them would rather nuzzle a horse’s bum than join the fray.
“I say, shall we sally forth?”  “Quite so, sir!”

This is not to say that no one is keen to go fight.  These two are riding out with all the gusto of gentlemen heading to the hunt.

The biggest question remains, however:

Why is everyone in this little pow-wow ignoring the man spasming on the ground on top of a crate like three feet away?  I mean, I understand that it’s a battle and there are dead people everywhere, but he seems to be flailing around as if to say, “Hello!  I’m still alive here!”  Or maybe he’s not injured, and he just tripped and fell while carrying the supplies?

In conclusion, throughout history there have always been things that bring people together to work for a common cause.  Sometimes it is economic stability, and sometimes it is beating up the French. 


  1. The Scottish soldier must saying "Would you like me to kill the French soldier approaching you, Sir?" They lost their initiative after joining the British army. Do you think he's wearing knickers below his kilt?

    1. Not Wearing Knickers was one of the key weapons in the arsenal of Scottish soldiers. If they got in a pickle they could just flip some fabric and their opponent would be temporarily blinded.

  2. I think the guy lounging in the chair is cursing the new "skinny leg" jean trend and lack of room in the crotch.

    1. Plus side, they double as a tourniquet to staunch leg bleeding.

  3. The general dude and his friends seem to be a bit "sassy". Look at that hand backwards on top-hat guy's hip like, "nuh uh, girl, I just got these chaps polished, I am not going to get them all mussed up in that nonsense, now bring me a strawberry daiquiri." And is that other guy doing coke off the horse's booty? Why else would he need to be all up in it? He's like an ancient Brony.

    1. I didn't know that Bronies were known for doing coke off of their beloved ponies butts, but I guess that would explain a lot, actually.

  4. Lol. A little scary but true.

    Thanks for the brief history lesson. I love how you did it through art.

    1. Thank you! History is often a little scary in how it tries to repeat itself...