Design and use of flags speaking task Read aloud 22 Practice
111 Read aloud
In the middle ages, the design and use of flags were considered a means of identifying social status. Flags were, therefore, the symbols not of nations, but of the nobility. The design of each flag resembled the “devices” on the noble’s Coat of Arms, and the size of the flag was an indication of how high the owner stood in the nobility.
112 Read aloud
The ritual of the state opening of parliament still illustrates the basis of the British constitution. The sovereignty of the Royal Family has passed to the sovereignty of parliament, leaving the monarchy with the trappings of power, while prime ministers are still denied the kind of status that is given to American and French Presidents.
113 Read aloud
Most peasants remained self-sufficient and skeptical about money – and with good reason: the triumph of capitalism probably made them worse off. They now had to deal with a centralized imperial state that was collecting tax more efficiently, giving more power to landlords, and slowly reducing customary peasant rights to land and produce.
114 Read aloud
Another method governments use to try and influence the private sector is economic planning. For a long time now, socialist and communist states have used planning as an alternative to the price mechanism, organizing production and distributing their resources according to social and strategic needs, rather than based on purely economic considerations.
115 Read aloud
Most succulent plants are found in regions where there is little rainfall, dry air, plenty of sunshine, porous soils and high temperatures during part of the year. These conditions have caused changes in plant structures, which have resulted in greatly increased thickness of stems, leaves and sometimes roots, enabling them to store moisture from the infrequent rains.