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Alert "to be polite"?

Playing yesterday, we had the following auction:

1 (X) 3

 

We play this as invitational, as we play flip flop, where 2NT is the weak raise.  No alert is required for the 3 call (forcing, invitational or weak) but the 2NT is is an alert (clear on the alert charts)

After the auction when partner's hand came down, the opponents objected that I did not alert 3 and later said I should alert to be polite even though an alert is not required.  

Thoughts? 

Follow the alert rules as written, anything else passes UI
Post alert calls that are unusual even though not alertable
Alert any bid will an unusual meaning even if not required.

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