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CLERK'S BRIEFING NOTE 13-12

FLAGS


1. REQUEST FOR A FLAGPOLE. At the Annual Parish Assembly on 17/04/12, the Chairman of the Sedlescombe Branch of the Royal British Legion made a request that a permanent flagpole with flag should be erected on the Village Green close to the Pumphouse. This was followed up by a letter from him with further details as follows:

  1. At the monthly meeting of the Sedlescombe Branch of the Royal British Legion held on 18/04/12, it was unanimously agreed that a permanent flagpole should be sited near the Pumphouse on Sedlescombe Village Green.
  2. The flagpole should be provided and paid for by the Parish Council, although it was agreed that the Royal British Legion would make a contribution. [The Clerk was informed that other local residents would be willing to make a donation also.]
  3. Because of various difficulties relating to insurance and public liability, it was felt that the responsibility for raising the flag on various occasions should rest with the Parish Council.
  4. The cord to secure the flag should be contained inside the pole to avoid vandalism and the possibility of unlawful use (eg suicide).
  5. That we should be proud to fly the Union flag on many occasions when we should be celebrating or mourning an important event.
  6. Other flags could be flown when we are not obliged to fly the Union Flag eg St George's Day and a Parish Flag (not available currently).
  7. Most of the surrounding villages have a flagpole and we should be part of this group.
  8. Everything can be purchased from the Hampshire Flag Company, Fareham.

2. LIBERALISING THE REGIME FOR FLYING FLAGS. In a Department for Communities and Local Government paper dated 06/01/12, it was stated that "The Government wants to streamline the planning regulations that apply to flag-flying to cut bureaucracy and reduce or eliminate the cost of applying for consent. Proposals were set out for a possible change to secondary legislation in order to achieve this. The changes proposed ..... are aimed at finding a way of preserving and encouraging valued flag-flying traditions, while at the same time maintaining safeguards against the unregulated display of flags that could affect local amenity or cause offence." The consultation period ended on 30/03/12.

Currently, national flags, county flags, saints' flags and the Commonwealth, United Nations and European Union flags can be flown without having to seek an advertisement consent from the local planning authority. Flying of these is conditional upon neither the flag nor the flagstaff displaying any advertisement or subject matter additional to the design of the flag; and, as regards saints' flags, being displayed only in the county with which the saint is associated.

Other flags such as house flags, sales flags and house builders' flags have deemed consent (ie these are subject to limitations and consent can be withdrawn by the Planning Department).

The Government's proposals for change in the type of consent needed or not needed is expected to allow more flags to be flown without needing consent. This is expected to include flags belonging to parishes.

3. FLYING THE FLAG. Flags may be flown on every day of the year and are normally flown from sunrise to sunset. If they are flown at night, they should be illuminated. National flags should never be flown in a worn or damaged condition, or when soiled. The Union Flag must be hung the correct way up. Flags should be raised and lowered in a dignified manner. As a guide, a ground-level flagpole should have a flag whose length is no more than 1/3 of the pole's height. Flags fly at full-mast on Remembrance Sunday.

4. FLAG FLYING DAYS. The Union Flag should be flown from from 0800 to Sunset on the following days:

  • 20th January - Birthday of HRH The Countess of Wessex
  • 6th February - Her Majesty's Accession
  • 19th February - Birthday of Prince Andrew
  • 2nd Monday in March - Commonwealth Day
  • 10th March - Birthday of The Earl of Wessex
  • 21st April - Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
  • 2nd June - Coronation Day
  • June (as appointed) - Official Celebration of Her Majesty The Queen's Birthday
  • 10th June - Birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh
  • 21st June - Birthday of Prince William
  • 15th August - Birthday of Princess Anne
  • 15th September - Birthday of Prince Harry
  • 21st October - Trafalgar Day
  • November (2nd Sunday) - Remembrance Day
  • 14th November - Birthday of The Prince of Wales
  • 20th November - Her Majesty's Wedding Anniversary

The St George Cross Flag should be flown on 23rd April - St George's Day.

5. FLYING AT "HALF-MAST". Flying at half-mast means the flag is flown 2/3 of the way up the flagpole with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole. When a flag is flown at half-mast, it should first be raised all the way to the top of the mast, allowed to remain there for a second and then be lowered to the half-mast position. When it is being lowered from half-mast,it should again be raised to the top of the mast for a second before being fully-lowered. Flags should be flown at half-mast on the following occasions in England:

  1. From the announcement of the death until the funeral of the Sovereign, except on Proclamation Day when flags are flown at full-mast following the proclamation.
  2. From the announcement of the death until the funeral of a member of the Royal Family styled 'Royal Highness', subject to special commands from the Sovereign in each case.
  3. On the day of the announcement of the death and on the day of the funeral of other members of the Royal Family, subject to special commands from the Sovereign in each case.
  4. The funerals of foreign Rulers, subject to special commands from the Sovereign in each case.
  5. The funerals of Prime Ministers and ex-Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, subject to special commands from the Sovereign in each case.
  6. The funerals of First Ministers and ex-First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, subject to special commands from the Sovereign in each case. Unless otherwise commanded by the Sovereign, this only applies to flags in their respective countries.
  7. Any other occasions where the Sovereign has given a special command.

6. PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE COVER. Came & Company has confirmed that the Parish Council's public liability cover would automatically cover the flagpole at no additional premium as long as the Parish Council agrees the installation. In addition, the flagpole can be insured if required.

7. PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT. Part 12 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as amended, grants planning planning permission for Local Authorities, including parish councils, to undertake certain devleopment on its own land without the need to submit a formal planning application. It is suggested that the erection of a flagpole with flag will fit into this category.

8. COSTS. Examples of prices:

  • 2 yd Union Flag 183cm x 91cm about £46.
  • 2 yd St George Flag 183cmx91cm about £33.
  • 6 metre single section lightweight aluminium flagpole for short or medium term use about £75 including delivery.
  • 6 metre sectional lightweight alumium flagpole for short or medium term use about £118 including delivery.
  • 6 metre two-piece heavier-duty aluminium flagpole with internal halyard about £263 including delivery.
  • 6 metre single section glassfibre matt and polyester resin flagpole (maintenance free) with internal halyard about £340 including delivery.

See Hampshire Flag Company website for details of other sizes.

Clerk/RFO,
Sedlescombe Parish Council

25 April 2012