On the 26th September the Government announced a liberalisation to the regime for flying flags, which it says will give a boost to patriotic pride, after a Summer of success that has seen national and community spirit flying at an all-time high. I had hoped that Heraldic Flags would be released from their tether but, alas, this was not to be. Heraldic Flags were previously lumped under the term “House Flags” which, broadly speaking were thought of as advertisements that have deemed consent as set out in Schedule 3 to the Regulations: “Classes of Advertisement for which Deemed Consent is Granted”.
• Class 7A permits flags with the name and/or the device of the person occupying a building (‘house’ flags) and sales flags (advertising a specific, time limited sale) subject to such a flag being flown from a single vertical flagstaff on the roof of a building, having a character/symbol no higher than 0.75m (or 0.3m in an area of special control) and, in the case of a sales flag, being displayed for a specific event of limited duration.
This means that, unless planning consent is sought (at a cost over £300) “House Flags” can only be flown from a vertical pole which is fixed upon the roof … in other words; you can’t erect a flag pole in your front garden. The original proposal was to extend the categories of flags that do not need consent included any heraldic banner of arms or flag granted by Her Majesty’s heraldic authorities. However, it turned out that “In light of representations received, the proposal to permit any heraldic banner of arms or flag granted by Her Majesty’s heraldic authorities to be displayed without consent (paragraph 16, bullet 5 of discussion paper) has not been taken forward within the final Regulations. This retains the current position, whereby displaying such flags (where they are not displayed as house flags at the appropriate buildings) requires the express consent of the local planning authority.”
Perhaps we in the heraldic community just didn't lobby hard enough?