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Scottish flag row: Neighbour complains to council about man’s ‘unsightly’ Saltire flagpole

James Ross, from Dundonald, received two official complaints from the same household over his flagpole. The neighbours complained the five-metre pole is “unsightly” as well as claiming it would have an “adverse impact on visual amenity” in the area.

The neighbours also complained about “noise nuisance from rattling/whistling and flapping of the flag which casts a moving shadow”.

Mr Ross said he was not aware he had to ask permission from the council to erect the flagpole and apologised for not doing so.

He has since applied to South Ayrshire Council for permission to put up the five-metre pole.

The council approved the application and rejected the complaints that it is “unsightly”.

The council said: “The proposed flagpole is not considered to have an adverse impact on the visual amenity of the locality.”

It added: “It is noted from photographs contained within the submission that the flagpole is adorned with the national flag of Scotland (Saltire).

“The flying of a national flag does not require the benefit of advertisement consent nor planning permission.”

The Saltire – also called Saint Andrew’s Cross – is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross, like the shape of the letter X in Roman type.

READ MORE: Brussels flag can no longer be flown in UK without approval

It removed the European Union flag from the list of flags that do not require consent to be flown on buildings from July 20 following Britain’s departure from the EU.

Scottish ministers previously requested the EU flag to be flown above all Scottish Government buildings.

In the Scottish Government’s flag flying guidance 2021 approved by the First Minister, it was requested that the EU flag be flown on a daily basis.

The guidance said: “The First Minister has instructed that the European flag is flown from Scottish Government buildings on a daily basis except for specific flag flying dates.”

The Scottish Government buildings include the HQ at St Andrews House in Edinburgh and Victoria Quay in Leith.

However, opposition MSPs branded the move as a “token gesture” claiming Nicola Sturgeon was obsessed with flags.


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