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FLAG PROHIBITION NOT ENFORCEABLE SAY LEAGUE
The Celtic League Secretary General, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, has written to the British government to express concern over planning regulations which prohibit the flying of the National Flag of Cornwall. The issue was discussed earlier this month at the League's AGM in Brittany. The Secretary General has urged the United Kingdom Department
Cathal Ó Luain pour Celtic League le 8/10/06 10:29

The Celtic League Secretary General, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, has written to the British government to express concern over planning regulations which prohibit the flying of the National Flag of Cornwall. The issue was discussed earlier this month at the League's AGM in Brittany.

The Secretary General has urged the United Kingdom Department for Communities et Local Government to amend draft Town and Country Planning legislation to rectify the anomaly pointing out that:

"The adoption of any legislation that would prevent the people of Cornwall from freely flying the "Cornish flag" would, we believe, not only result in widespread confusion and alarm, but would also be a massive waste of time for local district councils in Cornwall to enforce such a regulation."

The full text of the Secretary General's letter is set out below:

"Susan Peart Planning System Improvement Division Department for Communities et Local Government Zone 3/J4 Eland House Bressenden Place London SW1E 5DU

Dear Susan Peart

Flag of St Piran (Cornwall)

I am writing to you regarding the flag of St Piran (Cornwall) in relation to the draft Government Circular: Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2006.

As you will be aware, the above circular states that there are nine excepted classes of advertisement under Part 2 of the document and that Class H refers to the:

"…national flag of any country, and/or the European Union flag, the Commonwealth flag or the flag of the United Nations may be flown, provided nothing is added to the design of the flag or any advertising material is added to the flagstaff…"

We are aware from the correspondence of our members with the Government Minister for Planning, Yvette Cooper MP, that

"…flags come within the definition of "advertisement" and as such are controlled by the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992. Currently, any national flag may be flown from a vertical flag pole without requiring the express consent of the local planning authority, provided nothing is added to the design on the flag or the flagpole." [John Powell, Yvette Cooper's Office, August 2006]

However, the Celtic League is concerned that the Cornish flag of St Piran may not be permitted to be flown in Cornwall if the new legislation is adopted (one of our members in Cornwall has already received written notice from the local authority informing him that he has to pay for a licence if he is to continue to fly the St. Piran flag in his garden).

The flag of St Piran is widely flown throughout Cornwall by members of the public, private business and public offices, because it is genuinely seen to be Cornwall's national flag. The adoption of any legislation that would prevent the people of Cornwall from freely flying the "Cornish flag" would, we believe, not only result in widespread confusion and alarm, but would also be a massive waste of time for local district councils in Cornwall to enforce such a regulation.

Cornwall is one of six Celtic countries and people in Cornwall take pride in their Celtic heritage. The flag of St Piran has become a readily recognised symbol of Cornwall's Celtic identity and consequently has also given the flag an international status. The flag therefore is not only important to the Cornish community but to the international community at large.

It states in the draft Circular that "The European Union flag, the Commonwealth flag, or the flag of the United Nations is now included in Class H". To avoid further misunderstanding we would consider it prudent to also include the flag of St Piran under Class H of the final draft of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2006.

At the Celtic League AGM in Brittany on the 5-7th August 2006, delegates unanimously passed the following resolution:

- The International Celtic League calls upon the Westminister government of the United Kingdom to legislate to permit the people of the Celtic Nation of Kernow/Cornwall to fly the flag of St. Piran in perpetuity without fear of prosecution or persecution - .

I would like my comments to be taken into on behalf of the Celtic League as a part of your consultation process, because we believe that you have overlooked this inconsistency.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary"

A wide range of National political and cultural organisations in Cornwall are campaigning on the 'Flag issue' and League National branches in the other Celtic countries have been asked to support the campaign.

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

19/08/06

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)
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