Thieves steal Union Flag flying at half-mast a day after Queen's death

Community leaders say they are 'appalled' that someone could commit such a crime Credit: BPM Media

Community leaders have been left feeling "appalled" after thieves stole a Union Flag flying at half-mast the day after the Queen died.

The flag, outside the main gate at Queen's Park in Longton was lowered following the death of the Queen last Thursday. On Friday night the flag was removed from the flagpole.

Fortunately, a replacement flag was provided by a local resident and was put up on Sunday morning, before later being taken to the cenotaph for a memorial service.

People in the area believe the person or people responsible should be "thoroughly ashamed of themselves".

Lilian Dodd, ward councillor for Dresden and Florence, said: "It was taken on Friday night. We put a new one up on Sunday morning.

"We had to borrow one from a resident because I needed it for Sunday morning for the service with the British Legion at the cenotaph. One of the park staff met me there to put up the flag.

"I am absolutely appalled and never been so angry in my life. I’ve been trying to find anybody who’s got CCTV cameras in the area. The church across the road hasn’t but they tell me the nursery has so I am calling them today.

"Myself and a member of the park staff put the new flag up. He went out of his way and met me there.

"Whoever took the flag ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and I hope we can find who did it. I’d like to speak to them and ask them what they got out of it. It’s so disrespectful it’s unbelievable."

Susan Whalley, chair of Queen's Park Partnership, said: "It's disgraceful that someone could do this.

"Because it was at half-mast, they would have just had to climb onto someone else's shoulders and they could have taken the flag quite easily. But I don't know why they would do it.

"I was in The Strand pub in Longton and I mentioned what had happened to one of the lads who work there, and he said that he had a flag at home that we could use, which was very good of him."

Government guidance states that all official flags, including Union Flags, should fly at half-mast until 8am on the day after the Queen's State Funeral, which is due to take place on September 19.

Half-mast means the flag is flown a third of the way down the flagpole.