Matthew Barrett

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has decided to consult on allowing flags, such as regimental flags, be flown without permission, or payment, which at present costs £335.

In a speech to the Flag Institute, he said:

If people want to celebrate something that is important to them by flying a flag they should be able to do so without having to fill in forms or paying town hall officials for the privilege

Local and national flags unite people of every creed, class and colour. Community cohesion is strengthened – not undermined – by flying the flag.

Current rules mean only national flags, and the European Union flag, or a patron saint's flag can be flown without permission.