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Albert Bore defies the Queen in Thatcher half-mast flag row

Albert Bore defies the Queen in Thatcher half-mast flag row

🕔15.Apr 2013

flagBirmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore will defy the Queen by refusing to fly the Union Flag at half-mast on the day of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.

The College of Arms, acting on orders from the Royal Household, has decreed that the national flag must be flown at half-mast on all central and local government buildings on April 17.

But Sir Albert appears to be sticking resolutely to his claim that Birmingham would be breaking with precedent by lowering the flag for a former prime minister.

Challenged by Conservative councillors to follow the College of Arms’s instructions, Sir Albert said: “My decision not to have the flag on the Council House lowered to half-mast was in line with the previous practice of the city council.

“We have not lowered the flag on the death of previous prime ministers. The flag was lowered on the occasion of the death of Clem Attlee and Winston Churchill, respectively, because they were both Freemen of the City.

“As leader of the council, I have already issued a statement that described Lady Margaret Thatcher as a unique politician and expressed my condolences and sympathy. I also expressed these comments at the city council meeting on Tuesday, 9 April 2013.

“In holding to the traditions of the city council, we are not being disrespectful to the memory of Lady Margaret Thatcher, in the same way as our previous actions were not disrespectful to her predecessors.”

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