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.
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)
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
- 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
- Flags should be flown at full mast all day
- The Union flag should fly alongside the European flag. On buildings that have only one flag pole the Union flag should take precedence
- 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:
- From the announcement of the death of The Sovereign, except on Proclamation Day, when they are flown at full mast from 11am until sunset.
- The funeral of members of the Royal Family, subject to special commands from Her Majesty in each case.
- The funeral of foreign rulers, subject to special commands from Her Majesty in each case.
- 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.