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UK Government guidance 'Flying flags: A Plain English guide' was updated earlier this month. It removed the European Union flag from the list of flags that do not require consent to be flown on buildings from July 20.
It now states: "Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the flag of the European Union is no longer included in the list of flags that do not require consent."
Previously, the European flag could be flown without formal consent (permission) from a local planning authority.
It comes after publicity driven by UK ministers who want to see the Union flag, the flag of the United Kingdom, flown more now Britain has left the EU.
Expressing the importance of the UK flag, ministers added in the guidance: “It is a symbol of national unity and pride.
Ministers updated the guidance earlier this month
UK ministers are keen to boost the flying of the Union flag
“The government has recently issued guidance encouraging the flying of the Union flag on all UK government buildings throughout the year, alongside other national and local flags.”
Tory politicians backed the UK Government's move back at local and national levels today.
Cllr Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “I wouldn’t allow it [the EU flag] to ever be flown under any circumstances.
“Flagpoles are for flying national flags, not some foreign entity flags.”
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Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies
Andrew RT Davies MS, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “The Union flag is the symbol of our country's values and beliefs as one United Kingdom.
“While some may wish the EU was a country it is not.
“Its flag is merely a symbol of an organisation and therefore has that status.”
The move is separate from instructions to councils that require them to display EU flags as a condition for receiving COVID-19 recovery money from the European Union.
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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden published new Union flag guidance last month
The European Regional Development Fund has given money to the UK to help with the Covid reopening despite Brexit.
Under the withdrawal agreement the UK is still eligible for certain payments from the fund until the end of 2023 but with strings attached.
It comes just weeks after Scottish ministers requested the EU flag to be flown above all Scottish Government buildings.
In the Scottish Government’s flag flying guidance 2021 approved by the First Minister, it was requested that the EU flag be flown on a daily basis.
The guidance said: “The First Minister has instructed that the European flag is flown from Scottish Government buildings on a daily basis except for specific flag flying dates.”
The Scottish Government buildings include the HQ at St Andrews House in Edinburgh and Victoria Quay in Leith.
However, opposition MSPs branded the move as a “token gesture” claiming Nicola Sturgeon was obsessed with flags.