DCSIMG

Council’s ban on England flags

England fans Matthew Carson, left, and Dan Thomas arrive in Tambo Airport, Johannesburg ahead of the World Cup in South Africa. The two UCLan students arrived in the country after an an 11-hour flight and promptly showed their national colours, joining hundreds of people in Preston who are doing the same.

England fans Matthew Carson, left, and Dan Thomas arrive in Tambo Airport, Johannesburg ahead of the World Cup in South Africa. The two UCLan students arrived in the country after an an 11-hour flight and promptly showed their national colours, joining hundreds of people in Preston who are doing the same.

Lancashire County Council has BANNED its employees from flying the flag for England during the World Cup.

Lancashire County Council has BANNED its employees from flying the flag for England during the World Cup.

Thousands of employees were sent a memo this week telling them they were not allowed to display flags on county council vehicles or in any county council buildings.

LCC said today that although all council vehicles were banned from carrying flags, it was up to individual departments to decide on banning flags from offices.

Some staff have also been banned from wearing football shirts of any kind at work.

A memo sent out to staff in one council department said the move was aimed at “retaining a professional response to our customers”.

But furious employees say killjoy council chiefs have gone “over the top” and the “oppressive” policy 
is destroying fragile morale.

One said the memo has come at a particularly sensitive time given that thousands of workers have recently lost out on wages after an equal pay review earlier this year.

One employee, who works as a driver for the council, said: “People just don’t like it, they think it is oppressive.

“I have been working with young kids and they have been asking why can’t we put flags on the bus?

“It has come straight on the heels of this pay review and it is like a big hammer coming down. Morale is horrendous at the moment.”

Another employee from a different department, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Our Preston Mayor has a St George’s flag flying on the top of the town hall while England are still in the World Cup, so does that offend workers or members of the public in the Preston and Lancashire area?

“The answer is no. This action is caused by the bureaucratic PC brigade as usual. The St George’s flag flying in support of our football team is not offensive at all.

“I wonder what the Americans would do if they were told the same?”

The memo to staff says: “Please see below some general guidelines around the forthcoming World Cup.

“The aim is to allow reasonable flexibility whilst retaining a professional response to our customers, both internal and external.”

It then goes on to say there should be “no displaying of flags in any LCC vehicle, no displaying of flags in any LCC building (in particular where they are visible to the general public), no football shirts to be worn by staff at work.”

Les Parker, of the Unite union at LCC, said: “There is no flexibility. To me it is not patriotic, we should be supporting our football team and why they should take this action I have no idea.

“You can’t ignore the fact that it is taking place.”

The memo is in stark contrast to the stance of some other councils in the county. Preston Council announced earlier this month the St George’s flag would fly over the top of the town hall for the duration of England’s campaign. Residents are also “encouraged to show their support for England”, while even the council’s website will be changed to include England flags.

West Lancashire Council had proposed a ban on flying the flag during the World Cup but has recently scrapped the idea.

The borough council had sent out a document to its employees outlining what they could and could not do during the tournament, including banning flags being displaying on council vehicles.

The England team’s first game of the World Cup, which takes place in South Africa, is on Saturday, June 12, against the United States, followed by group games on June 18 and 23.

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page