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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Flag plan will have Scots opt-out
Union jack on government buildings
The union flag is currently flown only on certain specified days
Proposals to fly the Union flag every day on government buildings are set not to apply to Scottish Executive sites.

The government published the plans last week and they follow Gordon Brown raising the issue of celebrating Britishness in January.

The SNP said Justice Secretary Jack Straw assured the policy would not cover executive buildings.

However, UK Government properties in Scotland will fly the Union flag under the current proposals.

SNP leader Alex Salmond, now first minister, previously said Britishness "went bust long ago" in Scotland.

Royal birthdays

An SNP spokesman said Mr Straw's comments came when he visited Scotland earlier this month.

The spokesman said: "Jack Straw agreed there are different considerations in Scotland than there are in England.

"He agreed that the issue of flags is best left for us to decide. In Scotland, the Saltire will fly each day, although on 18 special days the union flag will be raised instead."

A consultation paper proposes giving government departments the freedom to fly the Union Jack every day, instead of just a few days a year such as royal birthdays.

People's views

Culture Secretary James Purnell said: "The Union flag is a powerful symbol of both our heritage and modern, diverse Britain. It brings us together in solidarity and shared identity.

"We want to hear people's views about whether government buildings should be allowed to fly it every day."




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Which flag should be given pride of place in Scotland?



SEE ALSO
Brown lifts ban on national flag
06 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
SNP dismisses Brown's flag call
14 Jan 06 |  Scotland
Brown speech promotes Britishness
14 Jan 06 |  UK Politics

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