This week members of parliament have been discussing the issue of border flag flying flexibility when it comes to flying of national flags on either side of the Scottish and English border. The issue was initially raised by a Berwickshire councillor. He has asked whether flags other than the Saltire can be flown on the Scottish side of the border with England.
The councillor a Mr Michael Cook has raised the inquiry regarding the provision at Lamberton – on the boundary between the Scottish Borders and Northumberland. He has said a disappointing three Saltires currently fly on the Scottish side of the border.
Mr Cook’s primary concern though was the flying of other flags, querying whether a county flag of Berkshire or the Union Jack may also be flown north of the border, hence asking for border flag flying flexibility. The request has been specifically raised with Transport Scotland and is set to be discussed by the Scottish Borders Council.
Significantly the flag of Northumberland, St George and the Union Jack can all regularly be spotted south of the border. Mr Cook and a local area forum is keen on creating regional distinctiveness in the area north of the border too.
The main issue raised is whether it would be acceptable to fly the flag of Berwickshire, a bear chained to a tree. Alternatively the ability to fly the Union Jack, which reflects the shared identity and relationship which exists across the border.
This isn’t the first time flags have made the news in the area! In 2008 Police had to investigate the theft of English flags from the border crossing at Lamberton which is three miles north of Berwick.
Police are investigating the theft of English flags from the border crossing on the A1 at Lamberton, three miles north of Berwick. In a sense thankfully this was put down to a random act of violence and nothing more sinister or concerning. We hope clarification of the border flag flying may improve relationships and prevent further behaviour such as this!
As far as we can see it’s wonderful that people are passionate enough about flying their flag to pursue the issues in Parliament. Best wishes to MP Cook hope your area gets the resolution you seek.