NOW YOU WON’T BREAK THE LAW WHEN FLYING THE FLAG
A Union Jack and England flag flying outside a house
By Martyn Brown
PATRIOTIC Britons will no longer risk prosecution if they fly the national flag without consent from their town hall.
In a rare victory for common sense yesterday, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has ordered a blitz on red tape which removes the need for permission, costing up to £335.
The rules will apply to national and international flags, the Armed Forces Day and some military flags.
The Rainbow Pride flag and those associated with sports clubs or award schemes will also be exempt.
But regulations restricting the use of certain flags, such as those linked to HM Armed Forces, will stay.
Mr Pickles said flag-flying across the nation during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics was evidence of “cultural change”.
He added: “The British people are increasingly proud to fly flags as an expression of their local and national identities. Flags unite communities across colour, creed and class, so I am cutting municipal red tape to make it easier to fly Britain’s varied and diverse flags without state interference.”
Flags unite communities across colour, creed and class
Charles Ashburner, chief executive of the Flag Institute, said the move would be supported by everyone who believed in freedom of expression.
Flying a flag attached to a building at present technically needs consent under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.
In England, this will be scrapped from October 1. Separate rules apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.