Municipal Offices flag flying protocol

The council recognises the meaning and significance attributed to flags. They are emotive symbols which can boost local and national identities and strengthen community cohesion. They are ways for communities to express feelings of joy, pride and loyalty

On 25 March 2008, the Department for Culture Media & Sport announced that UK government buildings in England, Scotland & Wales have the freedom to fly the Union Flag at all times, if they wish to do so.

Union Flag

  • In line with national custom the Union Flag will be flown at all times on the main flag pole of the Municipal Offices.
  • The Union Flag must always be flown in accordance with guidance notes from the Flag Institute.

St George flag

  • The St George flag will be flown on a lower balcony flagpole throughout the year unless the flagpole is required for other ceremonial flags such as on Remembrance day.

Other commonly used flags

  • The Purple flag may also be flown 24/7 whilst the council hold the award for its night time economy.
  • The Gloucestershire flag may also be flown.

Other flags

  • Other flags may also be routinely flown throughout the year to mark annual events and celebrations as follows:




Flags flown during February
Dates Flag to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag


Progress Pride Flag

LGBT history month

LGBT history month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBT history month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT community.


Flags flown during March
Dates Flag to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag

Second Monday in March (date will vary)

Commonwealth flag

Commonwealth day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations


Transgender Pride flag

Transgender day of visibility

dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society


Flags flown during April
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag


St Georges flag

(flown 24/7 365 days)

St Georges Day


Progress Pride flag

Lesbian day of visibility


Flags flown during May
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag

First weekend in May (date will vary)

Polish Flag

Polish Heritage Day Glos.

12 (date may vary)

Progress Pride flag

Cheltenham Pride Day


Progress Pride flag

IDAHOBIT day, international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia


Flags flown in June
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag

Throughout June

Progress Pride flag

Pride month

Late June for the week)

(week commencing 21 June in 2021)

Armed Forces flag

Armed Forces week


Flags flown during July
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag

Usually first weekend in July

Progress Pride flag

London Pride weekend

Week of 11 July

Remembering Srebrenica

Remembering Srebrenica memorial week




Flags flown during September
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag


Merchant Navy flag

Merchant Navy Day

Merchant Navy Day on 3 September honours the brave men and women who kept our 'island nation' afloat during both World Wars, and celebrates our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 95% of the UK's imports, including half the food we eat and virtually all the products and goods we take for granted


(date may vary)

Progress Pride flag

Gloucestershire Pride weekend


RAF flag

Battle of Britain Sunday


(set day)

Progress Pride flag

Bi visibility day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, is marked to highlight biphobia and to help people find the bisexual community


Flags flown during October
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag

Throughout October

Pan African Flag

Black History month


(set day)

Progress Pride flag

Coming out day


UN flag

United Nations day

United Nations Day is devoted to making known to people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization. United Nations


Flags flown during November
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag


Union flag

(flown 24/7 365 days)

Field of Remembrance Service

11 or the Sunday nearest to 11

France, St Patricks, St George, St Andrews, Welsh, Polish flags

Remembrance Day Service held as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts".


Transgender Pride flag

Transgender day of remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance, also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, has been observed annually on 20 November as a day to memorialise those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.


Union jack lowered and raised again

Aden veterans anniversary

Marking the final withdrawal of British Troops from Aden


Flags flown during December
Dates Flags to be flown Description/reason for flying the flag


Progress Pride flag

Pan Pride day

Flying flags at half-mast

When there are events that may require the flying of the Union Flag at half-mast or the flying of other national flags, the council will follow official guidance issued from the Department of Communities & Local Government which sets out flag arrangements for national and local government buildings.

The guidance generally sets out from when flags should be flown and when they should be taken down. The Union Flag will be flown at half-mast on the following occasions:

  • the death of the monarch or other member of the royal family, the prime ministers, or others in accordance with British flag protocol
  • the death or funeral of a serving officer in the armed forces from the borough
  • the death or funeral of a freeman of the borough, mayor, former mayor or member of the council
  • at the discretion of the mayor or chief executive

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 to be flown at half-mast it should first be raised all the way to the top of the mast, allowed to remain there for a second and then be lowered to the 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.

When a British national flag is at half-mast, other flags on the same stand of poles should also be at half-mast or should not be flown at all.

Flag flying requests

  • The council shall reasonably consider any request for the flying of a flag not already provided for in this protocol.
  • Before approval to fly a guest flag is granted, the council will establish whether the proposed date for the guest flag to be flown would conflict with that of other flags.
  • When determining whether or not to fly a flag the council will be sensitive to the views of all sectors of its community and borough and any request will need to demonstrate the unity and diversity of the borough and symbolise the values associated with the council.
  • The council will not allow the use of flags for party political purposes or for the purposes of commercial advertising.
  • Any decision regarding the flying of flags outside of this protocol will be made by the Leader of the council in conjunction with the Mayor.

The council may in certain circumstances choose to deviate from this policy in circumstances where it is important to convey sympathy and support with a city, country or locality which Cheltenham has a particular and established relationship with, for instance a formal twinning agreement.

Other arrangements in response to requests from external organisations to fly flags or events requiring expressions of sympathy and support, such as books of condolence, will be discussed on a case by case basis and agreed by the leader of the council in conjunction with the Mayor.