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What will replace the EU flag on Ipswich Town Hall?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:31 12 January 2020

The EU flag atop Ipswich Town Hall will be replaced from January 31. Picture: JOHN NORMAN

The EU flag atop Ipswich Town Hall will be replaced from January 31. Picture: JOHN NORMAN

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The European Union flag is to come down from Ipswich Town Hall at the end of the month – with council chiefs confirming what will take its place.

Town portfolio holder Sarah Barber said tehre were no plans for an event to mark the UK leaving the EU. Picture: GREGG BROWNTown portfolio holder Sarah Barber said tehre were no plans for an event to mark the UK leaving the EU. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The UK is set to leave the European Union on January 31, meaning the EU flag on local authority buildings is due to be removed.

Ipswich Borough Council's Conservative group put forward a question at Wednesday's full council meeting asking what would replace the flag, and how the council may celebrate the UK's EU withdrawal.

Councillor Sarah Barber, Labour's portfolio holder for the town centre, said: "It is a matter of long-standing practice that flag matters are for the chief executive to determine.

"Mr [Russell] Williams [chief executive] tells me it will be replaced with a plain flag displaying the borough council logo and will be replaced from time to time to mark certain events such as Armed Forces Day or Suffolk Day.

The Ipswich Borough Council logo will fly above the Town Hall instead of the EU flag. Picture: IBCThe Ipswich Borough Council logo will fly above the Town Hall instead of the EU flag. Picture: IBC

"We will not be holding an event to mark leaving the EU."

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It is not yet clear what will happen to the EU flag, although according to the Flag Institute, "when a flag becomes tattered or faded and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, for example by burning, tearing or cutting into strips that no longer resemble the original flag".

Suffolk's other local authorities are yet to confirm what their plans are to replace any EU flags on public buildings.

St Edmunds Suffolk Flag is one flag that was suggested to replace the EU banner. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDSt Edmunds Suffolk Flag is one flag that was suggested to replace the EU banner. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The Conservative group had suggested that having the Suffolk flag flown year-round would be an appropriate replacement, but Mrs Barber said this would be used for Suffolk Day.

The Suffolk flag features a golden crown with crossed arrows on a blue background.

According to the Flag Institute, this is attributed to St Edmund - King of East Anglia who was shot with arrows by Vikings.

However, debate still surrounds which flag is the correct one for the county, with a version of the St Edmunds shield on the St George's background, and an entirely different design featuring a yellow sun and blue and white waves also in existence.

In 2016, a petition featuring 20,000 signatures demanded all EU flags and logos be removed from government buildings with immediate effect, but was turned down by the government as it was still a member of the EU at that time.

Last week, it was reported that Scotland's former Europe minister Alasdair Allan - an SNP member of Scottish parliament - had begun a campaign to keep the EU flag flying outside Holyrood as an act of defiance against the UK's withdrawal from the EU.


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