Criticism for failure to fly flag tribute

A council has come in for criticism for failing to fly a flag in commemoration of the First World War.

Events were held across the UK last Monday to mark the centenary of Britain’s entry into war in 1914, and in Morpeth, special church services, a flower festival and exhibition were held.

However, resident Steve Liddle was dismayed to see no flag flying at Morpeth Clock Tower for the anniversary.

He said: “Why is there no flag flying to mark 100 years since our entry in the FirstWorld War? Does the council not recognise what the rest of the UK is doing? It’s shameful.

“It’s all nice for any visitors to see flags flying at County Hall, but nothing in the town centre for locals. Was it that much of an effort, or did the council just not consider it? Never mind, maybe in a hundred years it will reconsider its actions.”

Morpeth Town Council has had responsibility for flying the flag at the Clock Tower since 2009.

No one was available from the authority to respond to the criticism, but previously the council has said there are set protocols for flag-flying.

Morpeth Mayor Nic Best said: “As Mayor, I have attended civic services in the town and county, and the services held at St George’s in the evening and St James’s in the afternoon to commemorate the war, so the town council has recognised the anniversary. But why the flag wasn’t flying, I don’t know.

“The phrase used for designated flag-flying days at Government offices is, ‘these include royal birthdays and anniversaries, and national celebration days’.

“The commemoration of the outbreak of the Great War is not a national celebration so might be excluded.”