A Rotherhithe resident was allegedly told she could not fly her St George’s flag by Southwark Council – and to remove her flagpole, too.
The flag had flown in Linda Donovan’s back-garden for 22 years after being installed by her late husband Peter.
But Mrs Donovan says she was told to remove it by a council officer after a neighbour’s complaint in October, because it could only be flown for special sporting occasions.
And according to a letter sent to the 66-year-old by council officials, the flagpole too must come down because it is 22-feet high, which is above a fifteen foot limit.
“I feel awful because I feel like I’ve let my husband down,” said Linda. “I’ll take the flagpole down to fifteen foot but then it’s going straight back up with the St George’s flag on it.
“The flag had been up there 22 years and Peter got planning permission from the council [at the time] but we can’t find a copy and the council don’t keep records that long.”
Linda’s daughter, Kelly, added: “They said because it was a St George’s flag we can have it up for sporting occasions but we can’t have it up all the time.
“In the end we took it down. It caused a lot of stress to my mum because it was kind of a memory of my dad.”
According to the Donovan family, council officials first came around to tell them to take down the flag after a neighbour complained that they did not like it.
After being contacted by the News, the council said it would “review” the decision to take the flagpole down.
“We want to make sure that Ms Donovan and her neighbour are happy with whatever solution is reached,” said Cllr Kieron Williams, who holds the housing portfolio for Southwark.
“We can’t find any record of an original planning consent for the flag pole, but we’re reviewing the decision to take it down, and we’re happy to come to a compromise as per the resident’s suggestion to lower the height slightly if that works for everyone concerned.”
The Rotherhithe resident had had until the start of February to take down the height of the pole, at her own cost.
However, defiant Linda said she would be flying the St George’s flag once the flagpole was at its correct height, no matter what.
“There’s no way I’m taking it down,” she said. “They can do what they like, it’s not coming down.”