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Last updated 13th December 2021

Flags, military colours; advice for parishes


There are many options for flying flags and for laying up military standards, guidons and colours.

This page, features helpful material taken from the national church. It also directs you to further information available on the national Church of England website rather than repeating it here. Through the headings below we will provide pointers to help you understand your choices and care for your historic flags and banners.

Flying flags from churches

Flying flags from churches in England is controlled by law. You can only fly the flag of St George with the diocesan arm in the top corner nearest to the mast. Of course, you don’t have to fly a flag. Find out more about flying flags

When to fly a flag

There are no set days for flying a flag from a church. Some churches will fly them on the main Church festivals. This is a custom and not because of any rules. Government buildings, however, do have designated days for flying flags.

Conservation of flags and historic banners

There are simple things you can do to help your flags and historic banners stay in a better condition for longer. 

If the material is fragile, you may need to apply conservation treatment to keep your flags and historic banners from decaying (but not military colours – see below). Hire a trained conservator. Do not try this yourself.

Do you need permission?

You don’t need a faculty to introduce, remove or dispose of a flag flying from your church.

You also don’t need a faculty to repair, maintain, remove, dispose of or replace a flagpole as long as you only use non-corroding fixings. This work is on List A of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules. For any other advice related to flags contact the DAC Secretary of our Diocese

Military standards, guidons and colours

You may have military standards, guidons and colours laid up in your church. They belong to the state and you cannot dispose of them without Ministry of Defence sanction and a faculty. Please not that the rules for laying up Royal British Legion standards are different from those for military standards. 




Ronnie Semley, December 2021


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