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Flag raising dates 2021

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

The Council follows an annual programme of flag flying guided by central government plus additional dates for community flags that mark important dates and key local events.  The Union Flag flies from the prominent flag pole on the roof of the Civic Centre at all times, and the six flagpoles on Community Square used for community flag raising and events.

You can view the list of the agreed flag flying dates for 2021.

Gravesham Borough Council Flag Flying Guide

The Union Flag flies from the prominent flag pole on the roof of the Civic Centre at all times.

In addition to the roof flagpole, there are six flagpoles on Community Square.

Annual flag raising dates.

The council agrees its annual flag raising dates following guidance from central government.

The council operates in accordance with published practice informed by the Flag Institute’s “Flying Flags in the United Kingdom”.  For flags and events where no guidance is available, or for local or regional events, the Leader of the Council has the ultimate responsibility for decisions around the flying of flags. This will be in accordance with local protocol, available best practice, and what the leader considers most appropriate.

Position of Honour

The Order of Precedence governs the ranking of flags, and the flagpole that they subsequently fly from.  The order is as follows:

  • Royal Standards
  • The National Flag (The Union Flag)
  • The flag of the host country (The St. George’s Flag)
  • The White Ensign of the Royal Navy
  • The Ensign of the Royal Air Force
  • The Blue and Red Ensigns
  • The Civil Air Ensign
  • The national flags of Scotland, Wales, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories
  • Flags of other nations
  • The United Nations Flag
  • The Commonwealth Flag
  • The British Army Flag (Non-Ceremonial)
  • County Flags and Flags of Metropolitan Cities
  • Flags of Other Cities or Towns
  • Banners of Arms
  • House Flags
  • Specific and Additional Flags to Mark Certain Events, Locations or Occasions.

The Royal Standard takes precedence over all other flags, and should be hoisted upon a Royal Person arriving, flown whilst they are on the premises, and lowered following their departure.

Requests for additional Flag Raising dates

Additional flag raising to mark important dates or local events will be considered in exceptional circumstances and will be ultimately agreed by the Leader of the Council.  All enquiries regarding flag raising should initially be directed to the community involvement officer providing at least six weeks’ notice for new requests.

Practical arrangements.

The raising of flags is facilitated by the council caretaking staff.  Where a flag is being flown for a specific day the flag will be raised by the caretakers at the beginning of the working day and taken down the following morning. Many flag raising dates fall on a Saturday and Sunday when there is no caretaking staff on duty.   Flags that are scheduled to be flown to recognise a date that falls over a weekend will be flown on the preceding Friday pm to be taken down the following Monday.  If the flag flying is part of an organised event on Community Square then the organisers will need to liaise with the Community Involvement Officer to develop and confirm plans including how long the flag will fly for.

Where key dates fall at the same time or period, all agreed flags will be flown at the same time. The senior national flag will take precedent and should be raised first and taken down last when other flags are due to be flown at the same time. Once the national flag has taken its lead position, additional flags are to be placed in order of precedence left to right or in alphabetical order (if all the flags are of equal seniority). In the event that the senior national flag is not flying from the roof flagpole the senior national flag should be flown as near as possible to the centre of the flagpoles.

There may be occasions when the council will need to take down a flag earlier than agreed.  On these rare occasions, the council will contact the community representative to inform them ahead of the flag removal.

Flying Flags at Half Mast

On significant occasions, flags may be flown at Half-mast. This is a position two thirds of the way up the flagpole, and when hoisted, it is appropriate to raise the flag to the top, pausing for a moment, before lowering it to a suitable position. If the Union Flag is at Half-mast all other flags should be at the same position, or should not be flown at all. Flags of other countries should not be flown unless that country is also in a period of mourning.

The exception to the above is the Royal Standard, which should never fly at half-mast representing the continuous nature of the Monarchy.

National events requiring flags to fly at Half-mast will always be guided by directions from Central Government. However, in exceptional circumstances, there is local discretion to mark notable deaths, funerals or events.


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