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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Devonian must pay to fly the flag
The Devon flag
Wave goodbye: The flag at the centre of the controversy
A man is being threatened with legal action for flying a Devon flag in his back garden.

Rodney Lock, of Ottery St Mary, faces having to pay a 60 charge to get planning permission for the flag outside his home.

East Devon District Council says it is not allowed without planning consent.

The council is adamant that he must make a planning application because the flag, devised by visitors to BBC Devon Online, is not a national emblem.

I want to fly the Devon flag, with pride
Rodney Lock
Devon born and bred Mr Lock, said: "To find that I can't fly the Devon flag is totally ludicrous.

"Yet I can fly the Union Flag or the St George Cross - even the EU banner if I was desperate enough to do so.

"But I want to fly the Devon flag, with pride."

The council said it had been forced to act after it received a complaint.

National flags were exempt from planning permission under current legislation.

Design competition

Spokeswoman Kate Little said: "People do not realise that they need consent and many times out of 10 we might not have picked it up in the back garden.

"But if someone draws it to our attention we must take the matter up."

Mr Lock is now considering applying for permission and paying the 60 to show his true colours.

Meanwhile, ex-pat Devonians have been showing their pride in the county on the BBC Devon website, which held a competition to design the flag.

Website producer John Govier said: "There has been a huge take-up of the flag and hopefully one day it can be added to the list of flags that are exempt from planning permission."

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