New guidance published today by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will see the Union flag flown on UK Government buildings every day.
Currently, Union flags are only required to be flown on all UK Government buildings on designated days. The guidance will ask for the flag to be flown all year round, unless another flag is being flown – such as another national flag of the UK, or a county flag, or other flags to mark civic pride.
The Union Flag is the National Flag of the United Kingdom, and it is so called because it embodies the emblems of the constituent nations united under one Sovereign – the Kingdoms of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Northern Ireland.
The Union flag dates back to 1606 when King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and it was decided that the union of the two countries should be represented symbolically by a new flag. In 1801 following the Act of Union of Ireland with England, Wales and Scotland, the Cross of St Patrick was included on the design creating the flag as we know it today.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“The Union flag unites us as a nation and people rightly expect it to be flown above UK Government buildings. This guidance will ensure that happens every day, unless another flag is being flown, as a proud reminder of our history and the ties that bind us.”