Flag flying guidance for UK government buildings

No 10 lowers the flags to half mast to mark the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street.

All official flags, including the Union Flag, are to be half-masted on all UK government buildings as soon as possible today until 0800 on the day following the Funeral. Flags may be flown overnight during this period but should remain at half-mast.

Any non-official flags currently flying or due to be flown should be taken down and replaced with a Union Flag at half-mast. Other official flags scheduled to be flown should be flown as normal, but at half-mast (see official flags criteria below).

Half-mast means the flag is flown a third of the way down the flagpole from the top, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole. On poles that are more than 45° from the vertical, flags cannot be flown at half-mast and should not be flown at all.

Devolved administrations will issue instructions for the flying of the Union Flag and other official flags on buildings in their estate and others as necessary.

Local authorities and other bodies may choose whether to follow this guidance.

Official Flags in this instance are defined as ships’ colours, Union Flags, Ensigns and any National Flag.

‘Non-official’ flags such as the Rainbow Flag or Armed Forces Flag should be removed.

Creative Commons License

Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.


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