London mayor banned from flying European flag on anniversary of Brexit vote

Seven years after the Brexit vote to leave the EU, the Greater London Authority (GLA) plans to fly the EU flag today, but London officials have been told by the latest regulations that they need to get permission from local government.

Mayor Khan and local authorities could face criminal charges under revised zoning regulations without a so-called ‘advertising permit’ from the Newham district, where London’s City Hall is located.

No such permit is required to fly the flag of any country in the UK. Flags of the Commonwealth, the United Nations, sports clubs, the NHS, environmental schools and specific award ceremonies such as the rainbow flag are also permitted.

Until 2021, the EU flag was among the flags that did not require recognition, but on 31 January 2020 the law was changed in response to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. Instead, then-ministers encouraged the flying of the British flag- round over national government and local authority buildings.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan.Image courtesy EPA

To mark the anniversary of the Brexit vote, Mayor Khan will use lights today to display the blue and yellow colors of the EU flag on the building instead of flying the flag.

Guardian A source at City Hall is quoted as saying: “With more than a million people from other European countries calling London home, it is unusual for the government to actually ban the flying of the European flag without going through a lengthy and bureaucratic planning process.”

“Europeans make a huge contribution to our social and economic life and we want to show our gratitude with a small gesture for one day of the year.”

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In the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016, 59.9 percent of Londoners voted to remain with the EU. But, as is well known, the entire British public had a very small majority in favor of leaving the EU.

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