Thousands of football fans splashed out on jumbo England flags or smaller car-mounted St George's crosses, only to find the team crashed out of the World Cup faster than you can say 'economy class ticket home'.
At Wicken Toys we feel your pain, and we don't want your money, or flag, to go to waste. So here are some top tips for recycling, reusing and re-purposing your country's pennant.
1. Picnic Rug / Play Blanket Spread jumbo flag on grass / sand, then sit on it.
2. Handheld Hammock This will only work for small children and heavy duty flags. Lay flag out on floor, lay child on top, and place an adult at each end of the flag. The adults pick up the two corners nearest to them, and gently swing the child just off the ground, like a hammock.
3. Summertime Sledge There may not been any snow, but that doesn't mean you can't go sledging. Sit your child on the flag, grab one end, and gently pull them around the garden. This works even better on a beach as the sand provides little resistance.
4. Air Conditioning This is the cheapest air conditioning solution around. Soak the flag in cold water, hang up indoors, and place a fan behind it so the air blown through by the fan gets cooled down as it passes through the flag, before entering the rest of the room. 5. Fabric Playhouse Drape your jumbo flag over a climbing frame or even the washing line to create a quick and easy playhouse / den. 6. Sand Castle Markers The smaller flags on plastic sticks that can be attached to cars make excellent sand castle toppings. You will need to build extra large (and therefore awesome) castles to accommodate the size of the flags.
7. Climbing Frame Kingdom Use flags big and small to transform your climbing frame or playhouse into a King's castle.
8. Cool Down Wrap Soak the flag in cool water then use it to wrap up hot, sweaty children, and help them to cool down.
9. Keep It Flying Lewis Hamilton is going strong in the F1 championship and the Silverstone GP is less than two weeks away, the English cricket team would welcome the extra support, and the Commonwealth Games are right around the corner. As you've gone to all the trouble of putting the flag up, you may as well leave it flying there a little longer.
10. Recycle It If you can't face looking at your flag any more, don't just chuck it in the rubbish. Take it to your nearest textile recycling bin, usually at your local waste management facility. The flag will be shredded (which is probably for the best as it's clearly brought the team bad luck), and the fabric will be used to create something else, instead of just being added to the landfill.
Congratulations, you have now completed our ten step programme to giving your England flag a new lease of life.