Council flagpoles now celebrate diversity and druids

| Posted in Funny News |


Thanks for Retuning!

Northampton council flies the Tibetan flag on March 2, known as Tibet Lobby Day and organised by campaigners for the area’s independence Photo: ALAMY

Critics say that many of the new flags are little more than “logos on bedsheets” and have called on councils to stick to more traditional ones.

In Wigan, the council commissioned a report to make sure that its protocol for flags fitted in with the authority’s diversity policy.

Among the other flags flown from town halls are those to mark No Smoking Day, to support the Carbon Trust, as well as various awarded to councils by environmental bodies.

Many councils now hoist the gay “rainbow” flag at least once a year, often on May 17th, International Day Against Homophobia. However, in Brighton, the council also flies the Transgender Pride flag, of light blue, pink and white stripes, on Transgender Day, on November 28th.

A number of councils also fly Islamic, Sikh and Hindu flags on important religious dates. In Bradford, the council has also hoisted the Rastafarian flag – of red, gold and green bars behind a lion – as well as the red, black and green bars of the “black liberation flag”, which was originally used by the Universal Negro Improvement Association, set up in the US by Marcus Garvey, the early twentieth century political leader.

Both flags are used by followers of the Rastafarian faith and between them are flown on a total of seven days in the calendar which are significant to the movement, including Marcus Garvey’s birthday, on August 17th.

Charnwood council, in Leicestershire, also flies a Druid flag – a circular, white symbol on a green back ground – to mark the summer and winter solstices.

In some areas, including Brent, in London, and Swindon, the flag of the European Union remains aloft all year round. Northampton council also flies the Tibetan flag on March 2, known as Tibet Lobby Day and organised by campaigners for the area’s independence.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has issued guidelines about the flying of flags, but ultimately, it is up to the authorities themselves.

The survey, conducted by The Sunday Telegraph, even found one council, Babergh, in Suffolk, which said it did not have a flagpole.

Graham Bartram, chief vexillologist at the Flag Institute, which promotes interest in the subject and advises the government on such matters, said: “I have no objection to councils flying flags to indicate support for various initiatives. I just wish they were better flags.

“Many of these are completely hopeless designs and are little more than white flags with a slogan on them. The term in the flag world for these is “LOBs” – logos on bedsheets. We recommend councils use regional flags and banners of arms.”

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