UK trade directories register as many as 500 flag and banner suppliers nationwide. In reality there are fewer more than half a dozen traditionally established flag and banner manufacturers remaining in the British Isles.
'DEALERS & TRADERS'
Agents frequently work on a 200% to 300% profit mark-up. Cost apart, many lack any real knowledge of the different manufacturing methods and materials resulting in frequent errors and problems arising by they being unable to offer professional advice. This mainly applies to complex bespoke flags and ceremonial parade banners.
It is important to receive the correct guidance and advice for the purpose and suitability of the different material qualities together with durability, layout, size, design and finish etc.
REQUEST A VISIT
To ensure a level of confidence in safe-guarding of your interests when ordering a custom made flag, banner or standard it is reasonable for you to request a visit to the works and look around the factory.
It's also a perfect opportunity to discuss your individual requirements, see the different methods of manufacture in progress and select from the wide range of varying fabrics and colour shades on the spot.
If you are politely refused on the grounds of 'Health & Safety' or 'confidentiality' the chances are your expensive commission is being sub-contracted elsewhere. A joint visit by two officials is certainly recommended.
If inconvenient, as a consequence of time or distance, request the loan of selected examples by post, especially for Military and ex-Service Branches, Civic Authorities, Associations, Diocesan, Heraldic, Societies, Lodges, Clubs, Student & Trade Union Banners etc.
For officially recognised organisations, such as those described above, it is inadvisable to make any pre-payment. It is not uncommon for the recipient to be dissatisfied with the finished product. The possibility of a refund through an intermediary is extremely remote.