Flag row raised by councillor

Darlington and Stockton Times: FLAG ROW: The new Redcar and Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart. FLAG ROW: The new Redcar and Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart.

A COUNCILLOR has called for the European flag to be removed from a new multi-million pound building in Redcar - to be replaced by the Yorkshire flag.

Redcar and Cleveland independent councillor Steve Kay questioned the need for the European Union to be represented on the authority’s new £31m civic and leisure centre.

He challenged it to remove the "detested" flag during members’ questions to the borough council.

“Outside this palatial new building, the Leisure and Community Heart, you’ve got three flags flying," he said. "They can be seen clearly from this council chamber – fluttering in the breeze.

“There is the Union Jack, the flag of the borough and the flag of the European Union.

“The result of the recent European Elections in Redcar & Cleveland was a crushing victory for UKIP whose main policy is to ditch Europe.

“In these circumstances, you should listen to the people and remove the universally detested European flag from in front of this building.

“The spare flag pole will not be a problem because you can fly from it the universally loved White Rose flag of Yorkshire; a flag in which this borough can take pride and a flag under which we can march forward to real prosperity.

“Why don’t you listen to the people and replace the European Union flag with the Yorkshire flag without delay?”

However, the east Cleveland councillor’s suggestion was dismissed by council leader George Dunning who pointed out the building was built using European money.

“It is traditional for government and local government buildings to fly the Union flag as an acknowledgement of the union which makes up the United Kingdom. In general flag protocol, the superior flag is flown in the most important position - the flagpole to the left when looking at the building line - and this is why the union flag occupies that position,” he said.

“The flying of the European flag is an acknowledgement of the partnership which has assisted in delivering some tremendous facilities and amenities within the borough, and it is also recognition of the direct and indirect contribution which is made bringing trade and business to the area.

“The borough flag is flown as a visible demonstration of the civic pride which the Council has in its new facilities.”

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