For the Duffy family, their mult-country flag collection began with one Australian flag and has since grown to over half the size of the United Nations.
The Duffy’s flagpole, which sits just opposite of Bar Beach in New South Wales, Australia has become quite a landmark to the divers, runners, and walkers who visit the beach. For almost 20 years the flagpole has acted as a friendly nod to the city’s multicultural background by displaying a constant mix of world flags.
Kaye and Roy Duffy started with one single Australian flag, after Kaye bought the flagpole as a gift for her husband after he was named president of the Newcastle Business Club in 1996. Since then, flags have been a constant and reoccurring present for the couple, but they’re not complaining! Roy said, “A whole lot of funny things have happened as we’ve got more and more flags.”
Roy and Kaye could write an entire book of stories solely based off experiences with their flags. One time an Irishman who saw the flag while passing by assumed it was an Embassy and asked if he could stop in for a drink. That is only one example of the Duffy’s flag-related stories and they go on from there.
The Duffy’s multi-country flag collection holds between 80 and 90 flags total, although some are duplicates like the three American flags. Each time they gain a new flag, they write the name of the country in very small, thin bring along the edge.
Roy Duffy guesses that about three quarters of his flags were given to him by relatives, friends, and other community members. He even receives requests via letter or phone from tourists after they leave Australia to fly their respective country flags on special events, such as birthdays and in memorial of passed loved ones.
The couple also enjoys flying the different country flags as a gesture of goodwill when they have visitors from outside the country. The Duffy’s try to fly certain flags for major holidays but for the most part they simply fly whatever they want. Roy said, “We just look in the cupboard and say oh, this one hasn’t run in a while!”
Credit: The Herald