Flag flying policy | Oldham Council

Corporate Flag Flying Policy


This protocol outlines the procedures and arrangements for the flying of flags at Oldham Civic Centre and Council buildings/flagpoles in the Districts.

The protocol is implemented by the Mayor’s Office under instruction from the Chief Executive and/or Director of Legal Services.

All flagpoles can only be operated by Head of Porters and/or Head of Facilities Management under instruction from the Mayor’s Office.

The Union Flag

The Union Flag is flown at FULL MAST, every day and is flown from the flagstaff furthest to the left, as seen by an observer looking at the front of the building from outside.

The Union Flag should be lowered HALF MAST on the day of the death of the following:

  •  The Sovereign; or
  • The Mayor,

The flag should remain HALF MAST until after the funeral (except in the case of the Sovereign when flags are hoisted at the masthead from 11:00hrs on Proclamation Day (‘Death Day’ + 1) to coincide with the reading of the principal Proclamation until 1300hrs, the following day, (‘D’ + 2) to allow for the Accession Proclamation to be read in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The Union Flag is then to remain at HALF MAST until after sunset after the funeral, (D+10).

Half mast means the flag is flown two-thirds of the way up the flagpole (with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole). When a flag is flown at half-mast, it should first be raised all the way to the top of mast, allowed to remain there for a second and then lowered to half-mast position. When it is being lowered from half-mast, it should again be raised to the top of the mast for a second before being fully lowered.

The Council’s Operation London Bridge Protocol fully outlines the procedures and arrangements in the event of the death of the Sovereign.

Civic Centre, Council buildings, Flagpoles and the Districts policy

In the case of deaths of the Royal Family (except the Sovereign), the flag should be flown on the day of the funeral and subject to special commands from the Sovereign in each case.

Other dates recognised to fly the Union flag are as follows:

  • 9 January – Birthday of the HRH Duchess of Cambridge
  • 20 January – Birthday of the HRH Countess of Wessex
  • 6 February – Her Majesty’s Accession
  • 8 March – Commonwealth Day (second Monday in March)
  • 10 March – Birthday of the HRH Earl of Wessex
  • 21 April – Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen
  • 2 June – Coronation Day
  • 12 June – Official Celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday (traditionally on second Saturday in June)
  • 21 June – Birthday of the HRH Duke of Cambridge
  • 17 July – Birthday of the HRH Duchess of Cornwall
  • 15 August – Birthday of the HRH Princess Royal
  • 11 November - Remembrance Day
  • 14 November – Birthday of the HRH Prince of Wales
  • 20 November – Her Majesty’s Wedding Day

Terrorist attacks

Following the event of any national or international terrorist attack and at the special request of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Union Flag can be flown at HALF MAST as a mark of respect following consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council at the Civic Centre, as the main local Government building for the borough, (and other District Council buildings/flagpoles, if the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council give instructions).

The Union Flag will be flown at HALF MAST with the Borough’s Peace flag with the exception of; if another flag flying day coincides (including the death of a royal). For example, if the request falls on the same day as a Council Meeting, the Borough Flag would normally be flown with the Union Flag. In these circumstances, then the Union Flag and Borough Flag will be flown at HALF MAST instead of the Union Flag and Peace Flag (appendix 1)

Advice should be sought for extended periods for days of mourning from the DCLG and Lord Lieutenants Office. Flags of foreign nations should not be flown at HALF MAST, unless that country is also observing mourning. A minute’s silence will be observed by the Council following advice from the DCLG.

District Town Halls

The Union Flag is to be flown at FULL MAST at all times on all District Council buildings/flagpoles with the except of the death of the Sovereign or Senior Member of the Royal Family (refer to Operation London Bridge Protocol), St George’s Day (23 April), Armed Forces Week (the flag is raised on the Monday prior to Armed Forces Day on 26 June, and is flown for the duration of the week), or after consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council on the advice of the DCLG following any terrorist attack.

The district flagpoles are situated at:

  • Cenotaph, Oldham Parish Church
  • High Street, Lees
  • Cenotaph/Library, Uppermill Memorial
  • Lifelong Learning, Shaw
  • High Crompton Park
  • Dunwood Park
  • Royton Town Hall
  • Chadderton Town Hall
  • Failsworth Pole Gardens
  • Failsworth Town Hall
  • Cenotaph, Failsworth Gardens

The Royal British Legion Poppy flag is flown the week prior to Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph, Oldham Parish Church, but is replaced by the Union Flag on the Sunday.

The Borough flag

The Borough Flag should be hoisted FULL MAST to commemorate the following occasions:

  • Council Meeting;
  • Mayor-Making And Annual Meeting Of Council;
  • Mayoral Sunday;
  • On Occasions Of The Mayor’s Or Mayoress’ Official Receptions Or ‘At Homes’;
  • Remembrance Sunday;
  • Mayor’s Birthday; and
  • Holocaust Remembrance Day – 27 January.
  • Freedom of the Borough parades

The Borough Flag should be flown HALF MAST on the death of the MAYORESS from the day of death until sunset on the day of the funeral.

The Borough Flag will be flown HALF MAST at the Civic Centre on the death of a Member of the Metropolitan Borough Council on the day of the announcement of the death and the day of the funeral until sunset.

The Borough Flag will also be flown HALF MAST on the death of the following on the day of the funeral only until sunset:

  • former Mayor of the Metropolitan Borough;
  • former Chairman of Parish Councils;
  • an Honorary Freeman;
  • an Honorary Alderman;
  • a Justice of the Peace for The Metropolitan Borough; and
  • a Member of Parliament for The Metropolitan Borough.

Other flags and links with countries

Commonwealth Day Second Monday in March (Commonwealth Flag)
Bangladesh 26 March (National Flag)
Slovenia 25 June (National Flag)
Jamaica 1 August (National Flag) (1st Monday in August)
Pakistan 14 August (National Flag)
India 15 August (National Flag)
Ukrainian 24 August (National Flag)
Germany 3 October (National Flag)
United Nations Day 24 October (United Nations Flag)
Poland 11 November (National Flag)

Links with the United Kingdom

St. David’s 1 March
St. Patrick’s 17 March
St. George’s 23 April*
St. Andrew’s 30 November

* The St. George’s Flag will also be flown on flagpoles throughout the borough for which the Council is responsible including High Crompton Park and Dunwood Park

Armed Forces

  • Army 18 June (Union)
  • Armed Forces Day 26 June (Armed Forces Union Flag raised on the Monday prior to Armed Forces Day and flown for duration of the week)
  • Merchant Navy 3 September (Red Ensign)
  • Royal Air Force 15 September (Battle of Britain)
  • Royal Navy 21 October (Union)

Lancashire and Yorkshire

In recognition that various parts of the borough fall within administrative borders of Yorkshire and Lancashire, Saddleworth (Uppermill) will fly the Yorkshire Flag for a period of no more than five days to include:

  • Yorkshire Day on 1 August

For other parts of the Borough, which were in Lancashire, (Chadderton Town Hall, Royton Town Hall, Lifelong Learning Shaw, Dunwood Park and High Crompton Park), the Lancashire Flag will fly for a period of no more than five days to include:

  • Lancashire Day on 27 November

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Flags will also be flown at the Civic Centre as agreed in February 2010. They will be flown on the actual dates only.

Emergency Services Day

At the request of the National Emergency Services Memorial, it was agreed to fly the 999 Day Flag in support for Emergency Services Day on 9 September. Two minutes silence to be observed to remember those Emergency Service personnel who have lost their lives whilst on duty.

World Suicide Prevention Day

The World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention along with the World Health Organisation to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented.


At the request of the Lesbian, Gay and Trans-sexual Forum along with other external agencies, it was agreed to fly the Rainbow Flag on 17 May in recognition of International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) day and on the last Saturday in July in recognition of Pride Day.

The Transgender Flag is to be flown on the Day of Remembrance, 20 November.

Other occasions

The relevant National flag be flown when Oldham receives visitors from countries with which Oldham has agreements or significant links.

On the day of the announcement of death and on the day of the funeral of an officer serving within the Emergency Services (as defined as Police, Fire, Ambulance, Army, Navy, RAF and Lifeboat Services) killed whilst on active duty, and a resident of Oldham (unless they are not domiciled in Oldham because of their role in which case they should have significant family connections in the Borough), then the Borough Flag shall be flown at HALF MAST and if appropriate the District Town Hall shall also fly the Borough Flag at HALF MAST following consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council.

A peace flag will be flown each year to observe the International Day of Peace on 21 September to commemorate the Day and raise public awareness on issues related to peace. It will also be flown on other occasions to be determined by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

St George’s Flag will be flown for all of England’s football matches on the occasion of the UEFA European Championships and FIFA World Cup, and other leading sports championships.

Matters not covered in this policy

Ad hoc requests to fly flags that are not covered by this policy be determined by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council.