Flying the rag
Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:
What benefits they expect from the proposed reform of the law concerning the flying of national and non-national flags from public buildings, particularly with regard to the tourism industry and the twinning of towns.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): My Lords, the only change to the law that we have proposed is a deregulatory measure which will allow all national flags and the European Union flag to be flown from any flagstaff without having to apply for permission from the council. That will bring greater clarity to the regulations for people who want to promote support for the EU and Britain and other countries, which could benefit the tourist industry.
Lord Harrison: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for her Answer. Given that towns such as mine—Chester—proudly fly the flag of the European Union, the USA, the Commonwealth and our next-door neighbour Wales to welcome visitors and tourists and to cement those friendships, I ask my noble friend to note that her reply is most welcome to clarify the law. Is she aware of the disgraceful campaign waged by some unthinking Euro-sceptics who try to remove the European Union flag from local council buildings in the north and even from the European Parliament building at Queen Anne's Gate in London?
Baroness Andrews: My Lords, my noble friend is certainly right.... I very much welcome what he said about the EU flag. Our new proposals mean that there will be no repeat of the recent events in Westminster and the Weir Valley where UKIP drew attention to the fact that EU flags have been flown without the consent ...
Baroness Andrews: My Lords, yes, I agree that express consent is necessary for the flying of a whole range of flags, including many flags which she has described as being emotive. I am thinking of the way in which other political parties have flown particular kinds of flags. Indeed, that must remain within the control of the local authority.
So bringing to the attention of the authorities an illegal act is branded disgraceful and the flying of the EU flag is described specifically as a political act - " promote support for the EU". (Remember councils can't spend your money for politcal acts). But the flying of "emotive flags" by political parties should still be under council control - apart from the EU rag I can't think of any others - unless you count the Hammer and Sickle flown by trendy students or the Swastika flown by little dick retards - somehow I don't think they are what she had in mind, St George's crosses seem more likely. Still there is a sham consultation to go through first - I suggest you follow the lead of Neil Herron: and email
Dear Susan Peart,
I understand that there will be a "mini-consultation" on amending the planning rules on the flying of flags, in particular to give the EU flag a status equivalent to that of a national flag, Class I in Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992, Statutory Instrument 1992 No. 666, as outlined by Baroness Andrews recently ... here
Please could you tell me the proposed timetable for this "mini-consultation", and if I will be allowed to participate and make a submission?