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Flags

Volume 463: debated on Monday 1 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library a copy of the direction issued on behalf of the Prime Minister on the flying of the Union Flag from Government buildings. (153345)

Organisations and individuals may fly the Union Flag when they wish. However, guidance on the protocol of flying the flag from UK Government buildings is published on the Department's website at http://www.culture.gov.uk/flagflying, and restricted to various appointed days. The Green Paper “The Governance of Britain”, which was announced by the Prime Minister in his Constitutional Reform statement to the House on 3 July 2007, Official Report, column 816, proposed consultation on whether the guidance should be altered to give Departments more flexibility over when they fly the Union Flag. The Department's consultation document, “Altering the current guidance on flying the Union Flag from UK Government buildings”, was published on 25 July and is on the Department's website at http://www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Consultations. In the meantime on 5 July the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport relaxed the restrictions while the Department carries out the consultation so that all UK Government Departments have the option to fly the Union Flag when they wish. Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.