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Dates for Flying the Union Flag

DATES FOR FLYING FLAGS

Extract from Chapter 3 of the RBL Ceremonial Handbook

The Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for issuing the rules for hoisting the Union Flag on Government buildings. Individuals, local authorities and other organisations may fly the Union Flag whenever they wish, subject to compliance with any local planning requirement. Legion Braches are encouraged to use the following guidelines when flying the Union Flag.

DAYS SPECIFIED FOR FLYING THE UNION FLAG

There are 18 fixed dates each year on which the flag should be flown. While there is no formal definition of a Government building for this purpose, it is generally accepted to mean a  building owned or used by the Crown and predominately occupied or used by Civil Servants or her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

Although these regulations apply to government and other public buildings, there would be no objection, in principle, to a County/District/Branch choosing to fly their Union Flag on some (or all) of the dates listed.

FIXED DATES

09 January          Birthday of The Duchess of Cambridge

20 January          Birthday of The Countess of Wessex

06 February        Her Majesty’s Accession

19 February        Birthday of The Duke of York

01 March             St David’s Day (in Wales only, see Guidance Note 1)

10 March             Birthday of The Earl of Wessex

17 March             St Patrick’s Day (in Northern Ireland only)

21 April               Birthday of The Her Majesty The Queen

23 April               St George’s Day (in England only, see Guidance Note 1)

09 May                Europe Day (see Guidance Note 3)

02 June               Coronation Day

10 June               Birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh

21 June               Birthday of The Duke of Cambridge

17 July                Birthday of The Duchess of Cornwall

15 August            Birthday of The Princess Royal

14 November       Birthday of The Prince of Wales

20 November       Her Majesty’s Wedding Day

30 November       St Andrew’s Day (in Scotland only, see Guidance Note 1)

NON-FIXED DAYS

March (2nd Monday) - Commonwealth Day

June (1st, 2nd or 3rd Saturday) - Official Celebration of Her Majesty’s Birthday

November (2nd Sunday) - Remembrance Day (see Guidance Note 2)

To be determined - The day of the opening of a Session of the Houses of Parliament by Her Majesty

To be determined - The day of the prorogation of a Session of the Houses of Parliament by Her Majesty

GUIDANCE NOTES FOR FLYING THE UNION FLAG

  1. Where a building has two or more flag staffs the appropriate National flag may be flown in addition to the Union flag but not in a superior position
  2. Flags should be flown at full mast all day
  3. The Union flag should fly alongside the European flag. On buildings that have only one flag pole the Union flag should take precedence
  4. If the queen is to be present in a building, you should get in touch with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Architecture and Historic Environment Division, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH. Telephone 0207 211 2381

GUIDANCE NOTES FOR FLYING THE UNION FLAG AT HALF MAST

The occasions on which the Union flag is to be flown at half mast (half mast means the flag is flown two-thirds up between the top and bottom of the flag staff) are:

  1. From the announcement of the death of The Sovereign, except on Proclamation Day, when they are flown at full mast from 11am until sunset.
  2. The funeral of members of the Royal Family, subject to special commands from Her Majesty in each case.
  3.  The funeral of foreign rulers, subject to special commands from Her Majesty in each case.
  4. The funeral of members of Prime Ministers and ex-Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, subject to special commands from Her Majesty in each case.
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