Days for flying the Union Flag
||Birthday of the Countess of Wessex
||Her Majesty's Accession
||Birthday of the Duke of York
|2nd Monday in March
||Birthday of the Earl of Wessex
||Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
||St. George's Day (see note 1)
||European Day (see note 2)
||Birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh
|2nd Saturday in June
||Official Celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday
||Birthday of The Duchess of Cornwall
||Birthday of The Princess Royal
|2nd Sunday in November
||Birthday of The Prince of Wales
||Her Majesty's Wedding Day
|1. Where a building has two or more flagpoles, the English National Flag, the St. George's Cross, may be flown in addition to the Union Flag, but not in a superior position.
|2. The Union Flag should fly alongside the European Union Flag. However, on Government buildings that only have one flagpole, the Union Flag should take precedence.
|3. The Union Flag should be flown at Full Mast, all day.
|Local Authorities, individuals and other organisations may fly the Union Flag on their own buildings, at their discretion, as long as they comply with Local Planning requirements.
Other days on which Lancaster City Council flies the Union Flag
||Duke of Gloucester's Birthday
||British Armed Forces Day
Days on which Lancaster City Council flies other flags
Merchant Navy Day (The Red Ensign)
United Nations Day (The United Nations Flag)
Lancaster City Council flies the Rainbow Flag for a week every year in support of the Lancaster Pride Movement and to demonstrate the Council's commitment to equality and the inclusion of all its citizens. The date each year is agreed with Lancaster Pride to coincide with other national and/or local events.
Days on which Lancaster City Council flies the City Flag
1. Mayor's Sunday (Usually the Sunday immediately following Annual Council/Mayor Making in May).
2. All Full Council Meetings (Usually Wednesdays).
3. Death of a Mayor or Mayoress, while in their year of office (Half Mast until after the funeral).
4. Death of an Alderman, City Councillor, City Magistrate or an ex-Mayor (Half Mast on the day of the funeral, until sunset).
5. Death of an ex-Alderman, an ex-City Councillor or an ex-Mayoress (Half Mast during the funeral).
Flying the Royal Standard
If Her Majesty The Queen is present in a Government building, the Royal Standard should be flown. If the building has more than one flagpole, the Royal Standard should be flown in the superior position.
Occasions on which the Union Flag is to be flown at Half Mast
1. On the announcement of the death of the Sovereign.
2. The funeral of a member of the Royal Family (Subject to special commands from Her Majesty, in each case).
3. The funeral of a foreign Ruler (Subject to special commands from Her Majesty, in each case).
4. The funeral of the Prime Minister or an ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Subject to special commands from Her Majesty, in each case).
Half Mast means the flag is flown two-thirds 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. If another flag is to be flown whilst the Union Flag is at Half Mast, they should both be flown at Half Mast, or the second flag shouldn't be flown at all.
Flags of a foreign nation should not be flown at Half Mast unless that country is observing a period of mourning.
Rules for days when flying the Union Flag at Full Mast, coincide with days for flying the flag at Half Mast
On such days, the Union Flag should be flown at Full Mast:
1. Even though a member of the Royal Family, or a near relative of the Royal Family maybe lying dead, unless a special command is received from Her Majesty to fly the flag at Half Mast.
2. Even though it may be the day of the funeral of a foreign Ruler.
If the body of a very distinguished subject is lying at a Government Building, the Union Flag may fly at Half Mast on that building until the body has left and then the flag should be hoisted to Full Mast as normal.
Frequently Asked Questions
The questions are general and do not necessarily relate to Government Buildings.
1. What time of the day should the Union Flag be flown on a Government Building ?
2. What is the superior position ?
3. Which way round should the Union Flag be flown ?
4. Do I need planning permission to erect a flagpole ?
5. Do I need permission to fly the Union Flag ?
6. Do I need permission to fly the European Union Flag ?
7. Do I need permission to fly a foreign nation's flag ?
8. What defines a Government Building ?
What time of day should the Union Flag be flown on a Government Building ?
The Flag should be flown on Government Buildings from 8am until sunset.
What is the Superior Position ?
The Union Flag must always be flown in a superior position which is:
(a) The highest flagpole
(b) The centre flagpole where there is an odd number of poles of the same height
(c) The left centre flagpole viewed from the front of the building, where there is an even number of flagpoles of the same height.
Which way round should the Union Flag be flown ?
The Union Flag should be flown with the wider diagonal white stripe, that's above the diagonal red stripe, on the side of the flag nearest the flagpole.
Do I need planning permission to erect a flagpole ?
Yes, you need planning permission, from your local council, to erect a flagpole.
Under the Town and Country Panning Act 1990, flags come with the definition of 'advertisement'. Their display is controlled by the Town and Country Panning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992.
However, under Schedule 2 of the Regulations, the national flag of any country, including the Union Flag, is exempt from advertisement control, provided each flag is flown from a single vertical flagpole and neither the flag or flagpole displays any advertisement additional to the design of the flag.
Do I need permission to fly the Union Flag ?
Once permission to erect a flagpole has been received from your local council, you do not need permission to fly the Union Flag.
Do I need permission to fly the European Union Flag ?
Yes, the European Union Flag is not currently classified as a national flag under the Town and Country (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992 (see Question 4). You would need to contact your local council's planning department, to establish how to obtain advertisement consent to fly the European Union Flag.
Do I need permission to fly a foreign nation's flag ?
No, whether as a private individual, a private organisation or a Government Building, you do not need to obtain permission to fly a foreign nation's flag.
What defines a Government Building ?
The definition of a Government building is widely accepted as a building that is owned or used by the Crown or Armed Forces, or which is mainly occupied by Civil Servants.
The regulations are circulated on Her Majesty's command.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for issuing the rules, relating to flying the Union Flag on Government buildings.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport advises of any other occasion, where Her Majesty has given a special command to fly the Union Flag.