Council allows Israeli flag to fly in Bury

Bury Town Hall: hang out your flags (but not here)

Bury Town Hall: hang out your flags (but not here)

Bury Council has agreed to allow the flying of the Israeli flag on Yom Ha'atzmaut next Thursday, following a review of its flag protocol, sparked by its refusal to fly the blue star and stripes last year.

Jews in Greater Manchester were angered after the then Conservative-run council refused to allow the flag ceremony to take place, and said a new policy would bar all flags, except for the Union Jack, the Cross of St George, and Bury's own flag.

The decision was reversed last year after it was pointed out that Pakistan's independence day was marked annually by the flying of the Pakistani flag, in a ceremony attended by councillors and MPs.

Following a review by the now Labour-run council, Bury will allow any community and nationality to fly a flag to mark a national day.

There are two provisos: the request to fly a flag must come from Bury residents, and they must give two weeks' notice.

But flags will no longer be flown over the town hall. Instead, the council has placed a flagpole in the newly developed Union Public Square opposite the town hall, and all such ceremonies will take place there.

A Bury Council spokesperson said: "Bury Council appreciates the importance that a number of communities place on celebrating their respective national days.

"Although not all groups would wish to do so by raising their national flag, we want to support communities who do - but in a controlled way."

When the Israeli flag is unfurled next Thursday, it will be only the second one to fly in the new square after St George's Day on Monday.

    Last updated: 9:41pm, April 22 2012