A furious ex-solider has spoken of his outrage after being told to take down a flag commemorating the Battle of the Somme.
William Allison, 58, who served for 12 years with the Parachute Regiment in Belfast, has been instructed to remove four flags from the back of his property in Cartmel Avenue, Accrington.
William, pictured, who has lived in Accrington for 30 years, said that he was ‘shocked’ and ‘disgusted’ when a letter arrived from Hyndburn Homes demanding he remove the Scottish and Northern Irish national flags – along with a flag commemorating the Battle of the Somme and a flag commemorating the Orange Day celebrations.
Hyndburn Homes said that tenants needed to check with them before erecting flags.
The dad-of-four said: “I was honestly shocked when I got the letter. Removing these flags is disrespectful, not only to the men who died at the Battle of the Somme but also to those who are serving currently across the world in the armed forces. They are in my back garden and not bothering anyone. I was shocked by the letter – why would you ask for them to be removed?
“This is England, there is a major problem when you cannot fly the flag, I don’t know what things are coming to.”
Kim Smith, head of neighbourhood services at Hyndburn Homes, said: “Tenants need to speak to us before erecting flag poles. Unfortunately, Mr Allison did not seek our consent before fitting them.
“He has since explained they were to commemorate the Orange Day celebrations.
“As this has now passed, we have asked him to remove them from his garden.
“We have also asked tenants to remove any national flags following the end of the World Cup and Commonwealth celebrations.”