Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Pirate flag sunk after complaint

Skull and cross bones
The skull and cross bones has been replaced with a Saltire

A pirate flag run up a flag pole on Inverness's town house has been removed after a former merchant seaman complained it was in bad taste.

The skull and cross bones was to promote Highland Council's Halloween event on the River Ness.

The authority confirmed the Jolly Roger had been taken down and its usual Saltire put back above the building.

It is understood a former sailor complained that it was inappropriate given incidents of piracy off Somalia.

The weekend's Blackbeard's Haunted Ness Islands is part of the Inverness Winter Festival.

A council spokesman said the idea of flying the skull and cross bones was presented to the authority's city committee in a report highlighting the proposed programme for the festival.

He added: "The flag flew over the town house on Monday but it has been decided that the Saltire will be restored to its usual place and it is now in place.

"We hope that the weekend event will prove an entertaining start to the winter festival."

Ships have been seized by pirates operating from Somalia in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean - including the Sirius Star, the biggest ever tanker to have been seized.

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