back to article Yorkshire bloke's Jolly Roger flag given the heave-ho after council receives one complaint

The Jolly Roger, a catchall term for flags displayed by pirates during the early 18th century, was once a symbol to be feared across the Seven Seas. Now it seems the standard can been felled by one measly complaint – and UK planning regulations. Budding buccaneer Mike Darragh, 40, has come across more Guybrush Threepwood than …

  1. werdsmith Silver badge

    All the local chav areas round here have George Cross hanging from upstairs windows.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @werdsmith

      Good to know that isnt illegal... yet

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      All the local chav areas round here have George Cross hanging from upstairs windows.

      I sympathise. I'd be annoyed too, poor bastard.

      Housing Executive estates in N.I. (can't call call them council estates, the Councils haven't been let anywhere near anything more important than bin collection and the arts in ages) aside from the partisan Union or tricolor (irish, although I'm sure i saw a french one a few times), also like to fly other partisan flags in support imagined like struggles - Palestine-Isreal, Basque-Spanish

      1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

        It's the paramilitary flags that are fucking disgusting. And the apartheid israel flags too. They're even worse.

        The latest '$town supports Soldier F' banners are particularly revolting.

        Fuck this country.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As do the proddy neds around here. Never thought I would see so many St George's Cross in SCOTLAND.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ;..Never thought I would see so many St George's Cross in SCOTLAND.'

        You've not been paying close attention to the increase in number of the white settlers then, I take it?

        Besides, are you 100 % sure they were the standard St George's cross, and not one of these? ... considering 'tis the season of the Orange walks...though our local neds of that persuasion trot them out every time Rangers play..

    4. firefly

      The Maltese are absolutley the worst for displaying George Cross flags.

      1. Huw D Silver badge

        How do you make a Maltese Cross?

        Take his flag away.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          I've flagged this as hate speech.

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
            Trollface

            I've flagged this as hate speech.

            I've flagged this as bullying.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. LucreLout Silver badge

      All the local chav areas round here have George Cross hanging from upstairs windows.

      When an Englishman can't fly the flag of England in England, without some numpty slagging him off, something has gone very wrong.

      For the record I do not have anywhere to fly a flag from, let alone a flag to fly, but can see no wrong in this given the plethora of other flags flown throughout the year - EU, GB, Pride, etc etc

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        well , first it was "You cant fly your cross because it offends the forieners"

        this lead to adoption of flag by EDL facist types.

        Now you cant fly your flag because people will assume you are a racist.

        They stole the flag like they stole burberry pattern.

        too late man .

        game over

        the ship's sailed

      2. Cederic Bronze badge

        During the world cup last year I hung an England flag from my window. Neighbours' response: They all went out and bought England flags and hung them from the window.

        But I live in a quiet rural area..

  2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Pirate

    flag up – no pun intended –

    Who are you & what have you done with El Reg.

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Pirate

    Yarrrgh!! The local council be a scurvy band of lily-livered busybodies!!

    However, I am glad that things are so problem-free in East Riding that the local council has time to spend on keeping someone from flying a Jolly Roger.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Little Britain

    Or at least the small minded attitude of Britain's administrators.

    It is absurd that a Brit can't fly his own flag without planning permission, Union flags are considered racist and any other flag is a target for any petty mind that passes by.

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Little Britain

      The full list of flags that do not require consent are:

      (a) Any country’s national flag, civil ensign or civil air ensign;

      ...

      It then goes on to a rather long list of other flags you can fly with only a few sensible restrictions (safe, site owner's permission etc.).

      The flag in question is not on the list (and not a Union Jack), so when brought to the council's attention they have to do something. It would also preclude, for example, the ISIS flag (that's the murderous fundamentalists, not any Oxford-based, Isis-named sports clubs, who would be perfectly allowed without planning permission, or flags of worshippers of the goddess Isis, though they would need planning permission).

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Little Britain

        So, I was a little puzzled by the downvotes, but I think I've got it figured out.

        "2C. An advertisement relating to any institution of a religious, educational, cultural, recreational or medical or similar character, or to any hotel, inn or public house, block of flats, club, boarding house, hostel or Bed and Breakfast establishment, at the premises where it is displayed. "

        Apologies to worshippers of Isis (again, the Egyptian goddess of healing, rather than the murder cult), your institutions of a religious character can indeed fly their flag, whatever it may be.

        To be honest, I'm a little surprised that there are still two of you in the 21st century.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Little Britain

          "your institutions of a religious character can indeed fly their flag, whatever it may be."

          Yay. Noodly appendages may fly unmolested.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Little Britain

        anything not an official flag of a state, naval ensign, county or military force and so on needs consent from planning officials.

        But surely a Jolly Roger IS a naval ensign? Traditionally piracy involved ships on the high seas, although I appreciate it now simply means copying an .mp3 file. What would Black Bart have said?

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Little Britain

          Civil ensigns. I suppose it's traditionally been uncivil, however jolly it may be!

        2. Jonathan Richards 1

          Current on the high seas

          > piracy involved ships on the high seas

          Regrettably, your use of the past tense is in error. There were 201 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships logged by the ICC International Maritime Bureau in 2018 [1]. It may be spoilsportish, but I can't get into the celebration of piracy as a quaint custom of yesteryear. I have also looked up how to carry out an efficient yard-arm hanging.

          [1] IMB piracy report 2018: attacks multiply in the Gulf of Guinea

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Little Britain

        "The flag in question is not on the list (and not a Union Jack),"

        And just to be sure, it can't be a Union Jack unless it's flying from a Jack on a ship.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Little Britain

          https://www.flaginstitute.org/wp/british-flags/the-union-jack-or-the-union-flag/

          "It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea. From early in its life the Admiralty itself frequently referred to the flag as the Union Jack, whatever its use, and in 1902 an Admiralty Circular announced that Their Lordships had decided that either name could be used officially. Such use was given Parliamentary approval in 1908 when it was stated that 'the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag' ” - Cdr Bruce Nicolls OBE RN (Retd)

      4. RancidOrange

        Re: Little Britain

        So ... if the Jolly Roger was printed on a T shirt of approximately the same size as the flag and displayed outside someone's house this would be ok?

      5. Cederic Bronze badge

        Re: Little Britain

        Why would this not qualify as a "House flag - flag is allowed to display the name, emblem, device or trademark of the company (or person) occupying the building", requiring no consent (subject to some pretty loose restrictions).

        (Quoted text is from the 'flying flags guide')

  5. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
    Pirate

    I would have thought that decent brief could have argued the case for this being a naval ensign

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mine is a naval flag...

    ..but people are complaining about having to look at my sticky-out belly button!

  7. 51ajd

    EU Flag

    The EU Flag will require Planning permission the day after Brexit - that should keep planning departments busy!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: EU Flag

      No it won't.

  8. someone called ross

    They used to be flown by British subs so doesn't that qualify as an official flag?

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge
      Pirate

      Only after sinking an enemies warship I believe; last time being the Belgrano.

      JR natch.

    2. N2 Silver badge
      Pirate

      Jolly Roger - flown on return by submarines

      Yes, but it wasnt just for sinkings, there were different types of operations that would warrant an addition to the JR. Barmaid, for example.

      In later years its appearance was opposed by the increasingly PC types in squadron who were generally despised and regarded as little more than 'bureaucratic seat polishers' by the crews.

  9. TG_RED

    '...basically saying that anything not an official flag of a state, naval ensign, county or military force and so on needs consent from planning officials.'

    The Jolly Roger is a naval ensign, of pirates. so it should be allowed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The term "military force" is worrying...it doesn't specify that the military in question still needs to be active - does that mean it's OK to fly a great big black & red swastika?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        it's OK to fly a great big black & red swastika?

        It may or may not be "ok", it's just that (putatively) it wouldn't require planning permission.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: it's OK to fly a great big black & red swastika?

          For the avoidance of doubt, I meant OK in terms of planning law....certainly didn't mean to imply that it was OK to do morally

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: it's OK to fly a great big black & red swastika?

            I think the swastika with red surround was a symbol of NSDAP. Their military force used the balkankreuz.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: it's OK to fly a great big black & red swastika?

              "Their military force used the balkankreuz."

              Not always, they also used the swastika, e.g. the Luftwaffe in a certain period [1] .

              Note also "Balkenkreuz".

              (Pedantic, but it does matter:

              der Balken = the beam, as in "roof beam";

              der Balkan = the Balkans, as in geography)

              [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luftwaffe (see box "Insignia").

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: it's OK to fly a great big black & red swastika?

                AC, thank you for information.

                I genuinely do appreciate it, it's far better to be informed than carry on in ignorance.

      2. ibmalone Silver badge

        This is where a quick summary misleads:

        "(h) Any flag of Her Majesty’s forces;"

        Flag of the Coldstream Guards: Yes

        Flag of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards: No

        (And to answer another comment)

        Flag of North Korea: Yes. I believe it still occasionally flies outside a house in Ealing.

        A more accurate summary of the non-British flags allowed (but still not as accurate as actually reading the list): national flags, civil ensigns, civil aviation ensigns, organisations of which the UK is a member (though the European Union is specifically mentioned in this clause, so unclear whether leaving will change that), flags of administrative areas of countries.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          We'd still be a member of the Council for Europe, which has the same flag as the EU, so it would still be allowed to fly without planning.

          1. ibmalone Silver badge

            That's some good flag knowledge there.

          2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            You are Sheldon Cooper and I claim my £5

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      start a petition

      10K and you'll get a reply, 100K and they'll need to discuss it down south, or maybe the other way round. Yeah, given the lack of real problems to handle, I do believe this outrage calls for a parliamentary debate!

      1. OssianScotland Bronze badge
        Pirate

        Re: start a petition

        100K and they'll consider if they want to discuss it, no automatic debate.

        Icon for obvious reasons in this article

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge

    So there are people who must be really busy but still have time to create such stupid regulations. Stupidity is the most shared quality among human beings.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Add to that.. then you have some folks with nothing better to do than write complaints about nit-picky minor things like pirate flags. I admit that lately that flags seem to be a problem for some people of late, especially here in the States with regard t the "Stars and Bars" battle flags.

      Hang a piece of cloth on a pole and someone will complain about it, I think.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Hang a piece of cloth on a pole and someone will complain about it, I think.

        Rats, I need to install a line for my laundry then. Although, it could be fun to see how long it would take for a pair of boxer shorts on a pole to be reported. Hmmm.

        :)

        1. swm Bronze badge

          Some upscale places have regulations banning laundry on a clothes line.

          1. OssianScotland Bronze badge

            A friend of mine, in the Western Isles, once left his laundry out to dry on Sunday. He returned (from church!) to find it neatly folded with a little note informing him "we don't do that sort of thing around here". (That was some years ago, and I believe they have relaxed a bit, even to the extent of tolerating the golf course being open on the Sabbath.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
              Flame

              Good thing it wasn't Summerisle, the consequences could have been much... graver...

              1. Mooseman Bronze badge

                Summerisle - come home to a real fire.

            2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

              that sort of thing

              Perhaps it was practical advice. Some climates are better for line-drying of laundry than others.

            3. SImon Hobson Silver badge
              FAIL

              I have relatives who hail from somewhere up that way, and it's a source of amusement to bring out the photo of a sign on a children's' playground stating that it can't be used on a Sunday. The hard core would rather see industry close than allow (temporary) Sunday working in order to get/retain a big engineering fabrication contract.

              And then they wonder why the younger people leave the island as soon as they can.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Some upscale places have regulations banning laundry on a clothes line.

            I would argue that it's a flag, just to see how long I could keep this up, literally. I'm not usually a rogue, but petty rules annoy me and that combines well (IHMO) with a rather overdeveloped evil sense of humour :)

    2. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      > So there are people who must be really busy but still have time to create such stupid regulations. Stupidity is the most shared quality among human beings.

      I know what you mean, but unless you have some set standards (pun intended), someone will take the piss, e.g. a dozen huge flags with offensive designs. Stupidity is not restricted to officials.

      Reading the PDF, it seems a reasonable benchmark. Though I might be inclined to test some of the definitions in court if someone were small minded enough to complain about what is clearly a bit of fun.

  11. chivo243 Silver badge

    Hang it in the front window! Just behind the curtains, so he can flash the Jolly Rodger any time, just open the curtains at will.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Coat

      just open the curtains at will.

      What about when he opens the curtains, and it's Peter, or Andrew standing outside?

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Joke

      he can flash the Jolly Rodger any time, just open the curtains at will.

      What has Will done to deserve being flashed at?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Coat

        What has Will done to deserve being flashed at?

        Being flashed is better then being fired upon.

  12. Alan Johnson

    Guidance on flags wrong but a possible loop hole

    The guidance allows civil not naval ensigns. However it also allows flags of sports clubs and he could argue this is the flag of the Pitsburgh Pirates.

    Yaaaarr

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Guidance on flags wrong but a possible loop hole

      Maybe he's just a fan of St Pauli FC!

      https://duckduckgo.com/?q=St+Pauli+FC+flag&t=h_&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

      1. Inspector71
        Pirate

        Re: Guidance on flags wrong but a possible loop hole

        Forza Sankt Pauli!!

        Probably all Hamburger SV fans around there.

  13. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Pirate

    Section B, bullet point 1 - it's a house flag

    (b) Flags which do not require consent provided they comply

    with certain restrictions

    A number of categories of flag may be flown without consent, subject to certain restrictions

    regarding the size of the flag, the size of characters on the flag, and the number and

    location of the flags.

    Categories of flag that can now be flown1

    :

    • House flag - flag is allowed to display the name, emblem, device or trademark of

    the company (or person) occupying the building, or can refer to a specific event of

    limited duration that is taking place in the building from which the flag is flown

    All he has to do is say that it is a house flag. There's nothing that says he has to own the emblem or have rights to it.

    Failing that, fly two of them side by side from a horizontal rope and claim they're bunting! Better still, 50 of them!!

    Ah ha!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Section B, bullet point 1 - it's a house flag

      15 points to Gryffindor!

    2. STOP_FORTH
      Pirate

      Re: Section B, bullet point 1 - it's a house flag

      Of course he has to own the emblem or have rights to it.

      Otherwise it would be piracy you idiot.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Section B, bullet point 1 - it's a house flag

        .. which would be the whole point of this flag.

        Nice one :).

      2. bob42
        Pint

        Re: Section B, bullet point 1 - it's a house flag

        When will el reg introduce a golden up vote? Have a beer

        1. STOP_FORTH
          Pirate

          Re: Section B, bullet point 1 - it's a house flag

          Thank 'ee kindly.

          Here, this icon of a virtual beer is flat!

    3. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Section B, bullet point 1 - it's a house flag

      The house flag category does seem like a giant loop-hole. Until you realise that the entirety of the flag legislation is under the rules for planning permission covering advertisements, and it's basically to stop people taking the piss. Said pirate flag is probably entirely okay, though the house flag (together with the other flags that aren't international, national, regional or HM armed forces) is in a section that has automatically deemed consent that can be withdrawn, rather than the section not requiring consent, so the council can ask them to get rid of it if they really want to.

  14. Kevin Johnston

    This makes me nervous

    Last year we had Gulls nesting on our roof and they sounded as though they wore hobnail boots or clogs so this year we flew a kite kite to discourage them from nesting, and yes, it was a kite in the shape/markings of a red kite. This worked perfectly as they all nested a couple of streets away but now I am worried I am breaking the law. How have I managed to avoid being reported for flying a non-flag flag?

    Should I go looking for a pirate to borrow his cutlass so I can fall on my sword?

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: This makes me nervous

      Your completely unapproved and irresponsible flying of a non-sanctioned banner marks you as a terrible, completely irredeemable person, and your neighbors probably haven't reported you only because they feel sorry for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This makes me nervous

      Nah, that one won't fly :)

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: This makes me nervous

      I think you kite have broken the law...

  15. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Pirate

    Why are pirate flags on the banned list of flags for East Riding Council?

    Because they Aaaaaaaarrrrrh!

    1. Chunky Munky
      Facepalm

      See icon ------>

    2. hnwombat
      Pirate

      What's a pirate's favorite letter of the alphabet?

      Ay, you might think it be the Arrrrrr... but ye'd be wrong. It be the Ceeeeeeeee....

      Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, try the veal...

  16. IGotOut

    No problem.

    "anything not an official flag of a state, naval ensign, county or military force"

    May I suggest the flag of North Korea or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a good alternative.

  17. Andalou

    Technically, I think you'll find

    "Jolly Roger flag"? Shouldn't that be Jolly flag on land, or Jolly Roger at sea? There is no such thing as a Jolly Roger flag.

    Or something.

  18. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    Blow flags

    I have two of these on the office wall - facing the road - no complaints and a lot of laughter.....

    http://lifesize-models.co.uk/product.php?id=775&cat_id=18

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Blow flags

      You need to paint the back of the box black to give it some added depth there matey!

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Blow flags

        I thought about it. My partner, guessing what I was thinking sid NO No NO and other fruity - (non-Apple) expletives.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Blow flags

          Ya lily-livered land-lubber! What are ye made of? Cheese?

          I'd be putting sparklers on the top of the cannon as well.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not become a vexillologist?

    It'd be worth it just to say you are one.

    1. JassMan Silver badge

      Re: Why not become a vexillologist?

      I for one am vexed that you had to run that one up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes.

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Why not become a vexillologist?

      It's not worth getting in a flap.

  20. Mage Silver badge
    Pirate

    Meanwhile in NI?

    A pox on all of them there with their flags.

  21. Anomalous Custard
    Pirate

    Nailing your colours to the...

    windowsill.

    The guide mentions flagpoles but not the perennial favourite of sticking them to an external window ledge.

  22. HmYiss

    You are free..

    ..to do as we tell you.

  23. defiler Silver badge
    Pirate

    IT connection?

    I was running 'nmon' just the other day and my son asked "what does the bit that says 'R R R R R R R R R R R R <lots of> R' mean?"

    I said it meant there were too many pirates in the computer.

    Dad jokes FTW!

    1. Not also known as SC

      Re: IT connection?

      @defiler,

      You morally deserve a downvote for that joke, but considering you are brave enough to ruin your reputation by not going AC, I'll give you two upvotes instead.

      1. JassMan Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: IT connection?

        At the time of posting you will notice that his post is only showing 1, so that went well then. Unless of course the second one was pirated.

        1. Not also known as SC
          Angel

          Re: IT connection?

          One of the up-votes cancelled out the down-vote?

  24. SVV Silver badge
    Pirate

    Now we have infomercials reminding us that we wouldn't download a car.

    Wanna bet on that?

    https://cults3d.com/en/collections/best-stl-files-cars-3d-printing

  25. mad_dr
    Thumb Up

    IT Crowd

    Thanks for posting the IT Crowd vid - made me chuckle again (for about the 10th time).

    Unrelated but I bumped into Chris O'Dowd in a local kiddies play centre here in Vancouver on Sunday (we were both there letting our tykes run off some steam). He joined me outside one of the more noisy and seizure-inducing attractions while our kids ran around and we chatted for a time. What a thoroughly pleasant bloke. Mind you, I was pleasantly surprised myself with the fact that I somehow had the presence of mind to open the conversation with "did you see that ludicrous display last night?"

    I'm sure he gets that a lot but the speed of my wit is normally a lot duller than that.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: IT Crowd

      I take it he wasn't plastered at the time then? :)

  26. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    An ensign:

    "a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy."

    Are you sure you're allowed to string them up on a pole?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: An ensign:

      What else would you do with them?

    2. OssianScotland Bronze badge

      Re: An ensign:

      Most senior NCOs would be strongly in favour - remember the old adage that the most dangerous thing an old soldier will meet is not the enemy, but "a second lieutenant with a map"

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: An ensign:

      Depends. Is she a nice Pole?

  27. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Alternative approaches...

    Sorry to everyone who suggested that a Nazi or ISIS flag would be permitted, if you read the guide, the only military flags that don't need consent are, "Any flag of Her Majesty’s forces;". Those who suggested claiming it was a House flag, that must be "the name, emblem, device or trademark of the company (or person) occupying the building".

    So, he could avoid asking for consent by:

    1) Applying to Her Majesty for a Letter of marque, making him a privateer, i.e., leagalised pirate.

    or

    2) Registering a company, and making the flag the trademark of the company

    or

    3) Asking the College of Arms to grant a new Coat of Arms or Badge

    Frankly, planning permission seems like the cheapest and easiest option, followed by (2). Elizabeth II doesn't seem to agree with Elizabeth I on the subject of privateers.

    1. Nifty

      Re: Alternative approaches...

      Could he stand for the Pirate Party at the next election?

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Alternative approaches...

        Curiously political party flags are not mentioned.

    2. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Alternative approaches...

      Does "emblem or device" actually mean a badge of arms? Bear in mind the section is basically to cover advertisement. Interestingly the College of Arms (who reproduce this guidance) say: "The regulations are not intended to permit the flying of armorial flags or flags bearing coats of arms; for these please contact the Officer in Waiting for advice."

      If the house flag doesn't fly, then it might be much simpler to form a sports club (though again, these only have deemed consent, which can be withdrawn).

      Schedule 3, class 2 A may be even better. "An advertisement displayed for the purpose of identification, direction or warning, with respect to the land or building on which it is displayed." Write pirate house at the bottom and you're sorted. (Again, deemed consent.)

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: Alternative approaches...

        @ibmalone - "Does "emblem or device" actually mean a badge of arms?"

        Checking the dictionary and context, "device" means "emblematic design" and emblem means "a heraldic device or symbolic object" (a device is an emblem is a device... see recursion), so unless Mr. Darragh changes his name to something like "Mr. Skullandtwoswords" I guess he needs to show it is his heraldic... thing. I'd interpret the College of Arms' statement as, "we'll tell you who owns a device, but we have no authority over whether you can fly a flag".

        I was going by the plain English guide, but looking at the actual regulations, the problem with Schedule 3, class 2 A is that the size is limited to 0.3 square metres, Mr. Darragh's flag looks larger. Flags, under class 7 A are not limited in area.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Alternative approaches...

          Yes, probably an issue in size, would guess 0.6m^2 or more.

          Not sure about the device automatically implies heraldic emblem part though. If they meant that you'd think it would be more specific; to heralds a device is a part of a coat of arms, not the whole thing. And a personal striped flag, for example, might not be recognised as arms, there are some instances in the past couple of decades about the crests football clubs use not being registered, one factor in which is that not all of them are necessarily arms. Being on a shield is apparently a clue, which the skull and cross bones is not. Those not of British descent might have other personal devices that are not English arms.

          However the whole field of Heraldic Law and Court of Chivalry doesn't appear to have any primary legislation, making it a seriously difficult field for the enthusiastic amateur to get a handle on, and the court largely acts to prevent people using the registered arms of others. I will bet that council planning departments do not want to end up in cases at the Court of Chivalry to try to decide whether someone is entitled to bear particular arms!

          Alternatively: flag with a massive picture of his iPhone. In a skull and crossbones cover.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now i want to hoist and fly the following flags :

    1. Swastika

    2. Jolly Roger

    3. ZA Apartheid

    4. Vierkleur

    Sure to get a lot of people all jolly rogered up, arrrrr!

  29. SinX

    I thought this flag was the battle flag of the Knights Templar long before it was associated with pirates and therefore an official naval flag, but I could be wrong, Avast there mateeees.

  30. Mr Dogshit
    Headmaster

    The plural of "cannon" is "cannon".

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      is that canon?

      1. STOP_FORTH

        are those cannon?

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      You can also cannon a cannon.

  31. Jamie Swithenbank

    The way I read the rules, he doesn't need planning permission if he simply adopts the flag as his personal emblem. Make up some letterhead using the flag next to his name and send a letter back to the council, "I have adopted this as my personal banner and symbol, and it is therefore exempt from planning permission requirements"

    Let's see them reply to that one.

    Quoting the requirements:

    "A number of categories of flag may be flown without consent...

    ...Categories of flag that can now be flown

    ...House flag - flag is allowed to display the name, emblem, device or trademark of

    the company (or person) occupying the building, or can refer to a specific event of

    limited duration that is taking place in the building from which the flag is flown "

    If he lives there and declares this as his emblem, he is exempt from planning permission requirements.

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      There are actually two categories, the ones that are largely 'recognised' flags (countries, counties etc.) don't need permission, the ones that are more ad-hoc (sports clubs, personal devices) instead have 'deemed consent', which I take to mean need permission but automatically have it unless the council objects.

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Happy

        Just to nitpick, you can't usually fly your county flag without permission from the county council, which they won't give you. I presume this is the reason for the rash of "unofficial" county flags that have sprung up in the last twenty years or so.

        I think it started in Cornwall/Kernow, then spread to Devon, then Dorset. Not sure how many others there are, but I assume they come under "deemed consent".

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Is there a citation for that? The legislation says, "A flag of any island, county, district, borough, burgh, parish, city, town or village within the United Kingdom", and "The flag of the Black Country, East Anglia, Wessex, any Part of Lincolnshire, any Riding of Yorkshire or any historic county within the United Kingdom". These are both in the no-permission-required section. Possibly there are separate restrictions on the use of the flags (e.g. copyright, because this only covers not needing planning permission, though copyright wouldn't cover the Cornish flag), but I haven't found any. The white/red on yellow Dorset flag is 'official' (adopted by the council) but only chosen fairly recently. If they were not actually county flags I think they could only be crow-barred into the deemed consent category on the same basis that could be used for jolly roger.

          1. STOP_FORTH
            Terminator

            It's related to the fact that most "traditional" county flags were based on the county coat of arms. You are not allowed to display someone else's coat of arms as it is the heraldic equivalent of passing off. Don't know what the penalty is, you'd upset the College of Arms or get eaten by Red Dragon Pursuivant or something. (This may be a made up name, I can't be bothered to search for actual herald's names.)

            There was a famous case in the Fifties where Birmingham City Council sued a local cinema because they had the Birmingham coat of arms displayed on the fire-curtain.

            So, I would guess there is case law and the learned opinion of a bunch of guys with funny Norman French job-titles. You'd probably be hung by the posset or something for infringement.

            Since then people have been wary of displaying the council's flag.

            Not sure there is any prohibition I can point to.

            (Icon - coat of arms.)

            Edit, sorry it was Manchester.

            https://www.theheraldrysociety.com/articles/the-court-of-chivalry-some-reflections-on-the-manchester-case/

            1. STOP_FORTH
              Terminator

              Apologies, it's Rouge Dragon Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary.

              Great job title.

              More flag stuff.

              https://britishcountyflags.com/about-2/

            2. ibmalone Silver badge

              The distinction the College of Arms makes is, "It is unlawful to fly or use a flag of the arms of any local authority save on sites or premises occupied by that authority." As separate from the county flag. Looks like at least one council has allowed the use of their arms on the county flag as there wasn't one previously https://britishcountyflags.com/2013/06/30/hertfordshire-flag/ (thanks for the link) but one way or another they now all seem to be creating county flags (which is maybe what you were getting at, though they are 'official', these are the ones the guidance lets you fly). Given the 2012 legislation it might now be taken to mean councils recognising county flags are as a result giving permission for their use, while they still retain control of their own arms (Hertfordshire keep the full achievement of their arms for themselves). The Manchester corporation case would be unchanged I suppose, as they were using the full arms and not using it as a flag.

              It's a weird area of overlap between law so old it's entirely case law (sometimes based on proclamations or recorded judgements a thousand years ago) and modern relatively free regulation.

              Dragon King of Arms is one instance where the Discworld equivalent is less fantastical...

              1. STOP_FORTH
                Pirate

                This all a bit of an internet rabbit hole, which I am reluctant to spend any more time exploring!

                Nevertheless I have learned a few things which I didn't know before.

                The Cornish flag is older than I thought (1188 to 1838 depending on who you believe).

                Devonian flag is younger than I thought (2003)

                According to Wikipedia, Rodney Lock of Ottery St Mary was threatened with legal action for flying the Devon flag in his garden. (Gotta love those West country village names.)Just to get back on topic!

                The Heath-Walker county reforms of 1972 did not actually abolish the traditional counties, they merely rearranged the administrative districts of County Councils.

                So Rutland still exists outside the imaginations of Eric Idle and Neil Innes, Yorkshire Cricket Club can recruit players from within the historical boundaries and people who are unhappy about being transferred to a different county can presumably fly the flag of their original county and there is probably nothing the council can do about it.

                My original point was that county flags would (in many counties) have been based on council coat of arms as there were no county flags (except in Cornwall) until relatively recently. I read this on a website about county flags some years ago when I was trying to find out where the Dorset flag had suddenly appeared from, but I can't find that site now. (There is a good, but smallish website dedicated to origins of Dorset flag.) The only person with copyright over a modern county flag is the original designer, but there is no point in designing a modern flag unless you let people use it.

                Even Sir Pterry would have trouble satirising the College of Arms, but he did a good job, as usual.

                I'll have to stop now, I'm flagging.

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