Today we’ve launched a consultation entitled Celebration, Not Demarcation, with the intention of helping to resolve the ongoing problems around the unofficial display of flags in public spaces.
I believe people have the right to fly legal flags in order to celebrate and commemorate lawful events. However, their unofficial and aggressive display is often used to mark territory, and is a recurrent source of tension, as well as being a significant barrier to community and business development.
This consultation does not question the right of people to display legal flags from private property nor does it seek to change the law around flying of flags on public buildings.
But there is a need for a clear, transparent framework to give a time-bound, respectful approach to create a fair balance between celebrating events with legal flags and the right of everyone to be safe and welcome.
Many current complaints about flags go unaddressed, with the implicit result that violence defines outcomes – that is clearly not acceptable in any society based on the rule of law. Simply doing nothing is no longer an option, which is why we need an alternative.
I would encourage you to take part in the survey – available here