Time to fly your flag for World Cup
FOOTBALL fans are being encouraged to wear their colours with pride and fly their flags high during this month’s World Cup.
Rumours have been circulating in Peterborough and the surrounding area that people are being banned from wearing their England shirts and flying flags with the cross of St George on them. But those rumours have been dispelled as “myths” by Cambridgeshire Police and Peterborough City Council who are keen for people to enjoy the tournament.
Cambridgeshire Police’s community safety and licensing team leader Debbie Sampson said: “We’ve heard of the rumours and we’ve heard that there was something on Facebook saying that people weren’t allowed to wear England shirts and have flags up. “However, there is nothing to say that people can’t do this. We are happy for people to fly flags and wear shirts of any team, as long as they aren’t derogatory against any other community.”
A spokesman for the police also confirmed a tough stance would be taken against any football-related anti-social behaviour during the tournament, which kicks off on June 11.
England’s opening fixture against the USA will take place the following day at 7.30pm, with pubs and clubs across Peterborough expected to be packed out with fans.
The police spokesman said: “During the World Cup, police will work to ensure people who go to watch a match can do so without fear of violence or disorder.
“Officers will provide a friendly presence but will not tolerate antisocial or illegal behaviour.”
Peterborough City Council has also confirmed that putting up national flags on existing structures does not require extra planning permission.
But city planners do need to grant planning permission if people fly a flag with a logo, brand or name emblazoned on it – as it is no longer then classified as a national flag but as an advert.
A council spokesman said: “Residents can display any national flag or the flag of St George from any existing structure they control without needing permission from the council.
“We would encourage residents to fly national flags, including the flags of Scotland or Wales, in a way that will not cause annoyance and to take them down at the end of the World Cup.
“Permission will also be needed if a new structure is created to fly the flag from. It is currently taking about eight weeks to deal with applications.”
There are special rules relating to the city’s listed buildings which could hinder the way a flag is put up. The spokesman added: “Owners or occupiers of listed buildings should be aware that they are the custodians of the building for future generations.
“They should do nothing that would harm their historical or architectural importance.
“This does not include displaying temporary adverts like flags, but it does include the way the flag is fixed. So, put simply, the flag may be acceptable, but the nails holding it may not.”
But the spokesman added: “The most important thing is that residents enjoy the World Cup and have a good time, while remembering to respect the feelings of their neighbours.”
FLYING the FLaG hIGh: Fabio Capello look-a-like Brown Howard Brown outside the Party Shop store at London Road, Peterborough surrounded by national flags. (METP-21-05-10DL144)