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Flag Flying

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 15 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many days since May 1997 the St. George’s flag has been flown from her Department’s buildings. (77751)

The St. George’s flag is flown on Government buildings with two or more flag poles on St. George’s Day, 23 April.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not flown the St. George’s Flag from its building. However, we plan to fly the flag on 23 April 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her Department’s policy is on flying the (a) St. George’s flag and (b) EU flag from departmental buildings. (77752)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport issues guidance to Government Departments for flying flags on buildings. This instructs all Government Departments in England that have more than one flag pole to fly the flag of St. George on St. George’s Day 23 April and the European Flag on Europe Day 9 May, alongside the Union Flag provided the Union Flag is flown in a superior position.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will ensure the Union Flag is flown from her Department’s buildings on every day the offices are open. (77753)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for issuing rules for hoisting the Union flag on Government Buildings. The rules are approved by the Queen on advice from the Department.

The Union Flag is flown on Government buildings to mark the birthdays of members of the Royal Family undertaking official duties and specific national events including Remembrance Sunday, Europe Day, St. George’s Day, Her Majesty’s Accession and Wedding Day. The Union Flag is also flown on other occasions—for example, for state visits.

There are no plans at present to change this arrangement. However individuals, local authorities and other organisations can fly the Union Flag whenever they wish, subject to compliance with local planning requirements.