Union flag to be flown on UK Government buildings every day

Credit: PA

The Union Jack flag is to be flown on UK government buildings every day.

In a statement, culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the new guidance will create "a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us.”Currently, union flags are only required to be flown on all UK government buildings on designated days. The new guidance will ask for the flag to be flown all year round, unless another flag is being flown – such as another national flag of the UK.

“The Union Flag unites us as a nation and people rightly expect it to be flown above UK government buildings," culture secretary Oliver Dowden said

"This guidance will ensure that happens every day, unless another flag is being flown, as a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us.”The government has also said planning regulations in England that were introduced in 2007 to allow the EU flag to be flown on public buildings without acquiring planning permission will be removed following the UK’s departure from the European Union. 

The government has also "cut red tape" to allow dual flagging – where two flags can be flown on one pole. Where organisations have two flag poles, they are permitted to fly the Union flag alongside another flag.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

Additionally. new "deemed consent" will be granted for the NHS flags. This will allow for the NHS flags to be flown, without planning permission – alongside the Union flag.On Wednesday, the local government secretary Robert Jenrick wrote to all councils in England to raise awareness of the guidance and encourage them to fly Union flags on their buildings.

He said: “Our nation’s flag is a symbol of liberty, unity and freedom that creates a shared sense of civic pride. People rightly expect to see the Union Flag flying high on civic and government buildings up and down the country, as a sign of our local and national identity.

 “That’s why I am calling on all local councils to fly the Union Flag on their buildings – and today’s guidance will enable them to do that. We’ve also cut red tape, allowing councils to also fly their county flag at the same time.”

The Union Flag dates back to 1606 when King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and it was decided that the union of the two countries should be represented symbolically by a new flag.

In 1801, following the Act of Union of Ireland with England, Wales and Scotland, the Cross of St Patrick was included on the design creating the flag as we know it today.

  • Listen to the ITV News politics podcast: