Equality Impact Assessment - Council Flag Policy

In March 2022, the Council resolved that subject to the completion of an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA), the Council would amend its current flag policy in order to:

  1. Fly our Union Flag at every war memorial all year round
  2. Fly the Union Flag at the Church Street, Newtownards Council building all year round

The EQIA included consultation with the public and with staff over a 20-week period (June to November 2022).

At the end of the consultation period the initial draft EQIA report was revised to provide details of the consultation process and to reflect the comments made by consultees. This final draft report can be downloaded here. AND_Flags_EQIA_Final_Decision_Report.pdf (ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk)

At a Council meeting on 29th March 2023, Elected Members agreed not to revise the current policy. 

This means that flags will continue to be flown across the Borough as outlined below:

  • The Union Flag will be flown permanently (365/6 days) at the following designated sites – Castle Park, Bangor; Conway Square, Newtownards; Ballygowan (adjacent to the War Memorial); The Square, Comber; The Maypole, Holywood; The Moat, Donaghadee; and Queen’s Hall, Holywood.
  • The Union Flag will be flown only on designated days at Church Street, Newtownards.
  • The Union Flag will be flown at war memorials for the period of Remembrance (around 11 November) or for the Remembrance Service (in line with existing local custom and practice) but for a period which must not exceed two weeks. In addition to the period of Remembrance, flags at war memorials will be flown at half-mast following the death of the reigning Monarch.
  • Flags commemorating specific days or events (to include Commonwealth Day Flag, Armed Forces Day Flag or Red Ensign) will be flown at Castle Park, Bangor and Conway Square, Newtownards. Additional flags may also be considered that have a national significance at one or both sites (Council approval will be required for these on a case-by-case basis).