Flying the Union Flag on the city wall

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Canterbury’s designated flag pole for flying the Union Flag on official dates is the pole on the city wall near Canterbury East railway station, the city council has confirmed.

The Union Flag is flown there on dates set out in guidance published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which includes today (21 June), the Duke of Cambridge’s birthday.

It has also previously been flown on a pole on top of the Westgate Towers, but the council has decommissioned that as a council pole. While the towers remain a council-owned building, they are run by the tenant of The Pound, who has responsibility for flying flags there, as set out in their lease.

The council is currently applying for planning permission for a new flagpole in the Dane John Gardens, close to the memorial. If granted, this would be used to fly flags for special events such as Armed Forces Day and Pride Canterbury, or other ad hoc requests.

Chief Executive Colin Carmichael said: “We know a lot of people are passionate about flags, so we want to be clear about who is flying what flag, and where and when they do it.

“The city wall flag pole is our designated pole and the Union Flag is up today, and looks fantastic. The tenants at The Pound are allowed to fly a flag of their choice and we know they fly the Union Flag there most days.”

The flying of both the Union Flag and the Pride flag at the Westgate Towers on Saturday 9 June, the day of the Pride Canterbury event, has caused some discussion locally.

Colin Carmichael added: “The aim was to do a nice thing and celebrate two special events – The Queen’s official birthday and the wonderful Pride ​day in the city – and we advised our tenants this would be fine. But having subsequently checked, we accept this did not adhere to flag flying protocol and apologise to anyone who was offended.”

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