A Conservative Councillor’s proposals for the Union Jack flag to be flown at schools across Calderdale and for the national anthem to be sung in assemblies has been rejected.
Coun Scott Benton (Brighouse, Con) put the motion before full council on Thursday evening at Halifax Town Hall.
However, Labour councillors in Calderdale, supported by the Liberal Democrats, rejected the idea of flying the Union Flag on public buildings as “inappropriate”.
Coun Benton said these things, we were assured, were likely to make us more divisive and ‘promote nasty, nationalistic tendencies’ rather than give us a sense of identity and pride in our nation.
“I was surprised by the connotations placed on these simple symbols of the pride we should have in our nation,” said the Conservative Deputy Leader.
“Surely bringing the various strands of our British society together to recognise one flag and one Queen can only be uplifting and inclusive.”
“At a time when extremist organisations are trying to hijack the symbols of our national identity it is important that we take back ownership of those symbols.
“Flying the Union Flag on public buildings and the singing of our national Anthem are just two of the ways we can do this.”
Coun Benton also proposed for the Union Flag to be flown from all Council buildings that have the facility to do so, on every day of the calendar year, apart from on those days when the flying of other flags has already been agreed by the Council.
He has also said that where a Council building has the facility to fly two flags simultaneously the Union Flag should fly on every day of the calendar year with other flags being flown in addition to the Union Flag on their agreed days.