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Flags will fly at all times
Tuesday 30th August, 2005

The Union Jack can now be seen flying over council buildings on a permanent basis.

Until recently, council policy was to only fly the flag on special occasions such as the Queen's birthday, or at half-mast when someone important died.

But in future the flags will be flown at full mast at all times, and be lowered to half-mast on news of the death of a prominent local or national figure.

The new system is already used in many other councils, including Bolton and Tameside, and the all-party Councillor Services group has decided unanimously to adopt it in Wigan borough.

Cllr John O'Neill, Deputy Leader of Wigan Council, said:

"We are proud of the Union Flag and could see no reason why we shouldn't fly it over our buildings that have flagpoles at all times. It also adds colour to our town centres and creates civic and national pride.

"Another factor in our decision is that under the old policy it wasn't always easy to decide when it was appropriate to fly the flags at full mast. Staff also found they were raising and lowering them in quick succession when national and local events coincided.

"For example, you could have the Queen's birthday coinciding with the death of a prominent local person, and someone would have had to decide whether the flag should be at full mast or half mast. Under the new system, there will be less scope for conflict, and I hope it's a move that can be welcomed by everyone."

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