Gulf War veteran, 51, is told to stop flying Union Flag in his own garden after neighbour complains it’s a ‘nuisance’

A FORMER Gulf War vet was told to stop flying Union Jack in his garden after a neighbour labelled it a "nuisance".

The 51-year-old hoisted the flag up on a pole after serving six years in the Royal Signals – but has been ordered to take it down.

SWNS:South West News Service6 Andrew Smith put up a Union Jack after spending six years serving his country

Andrew Smith claims he got a letter from housing developer Harron Homes warning he would face legal action if he didn't remove it.

The dad-of-two has so far complied with the notice but says he will fight back because he is "proud to be British".

Andrew served in the British army between 1988 and 1994 and saw action during the Gulf War – a conflict waged by coalition forces in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

He put up the £3 flag, bought from eBay, but thinks a neighbour soon complained to bosses who then got in touch.

He said: "I think it's the flag as it's the first thing he {the neighbour} mentioned, he said to me 'I hope you're taking the flag down, it's spoiling our view.'

"I can't see why a Union Jack flag is offensive. Why would you be offended by patriotism?

"We have become soft and don't want to upset other people, whereas I have done my bit for my country and I'm proud to be British.

"I went to war for my country. It's something close to my heart and every morning I feel like saluting it. We are becoming weak and spineless. Who are they to tell me not to fly the flag?"

What is the law on flying a flag in your garden?

It used to be illegal to fly a national flag without permission from a local council – but recent changes have relaxed this.

However consent is generally needed to fly any country's national flag.

Flags must be kept in a safe condition and must have permission of the owner of the site on which they are displayed.

They can be flown on every day of the year, with no permission needed to fly the national flags, however the installation of a flag pole may need permission.

And as the Union Flag has a correct way up, it is entirely frowned upon to fly it upside down.


Andrew, now a project manager, moved into the property in Hucknall, Notts., with his wife Trigania, 28, in October last year.

The couple previously lived in Chilwell, Notts., where Andrew says he flew the flag without incident for 10 years.

He claims he asked locals on the Sandlands Park Facebook group page in February this year if anyone would be offended if he installed a pole and Union Jack flag in his back garden.

Andrew says he got more than 70 positive comments and decided to go ahead, but heard a knock at the door within hours of putting it up from a disgruntled neighbour.

Andrew, a project manager, said: "It's a covenant garden, whatever I signed when I bought the house said I wasn't allowed to do anything that causes a nuisance or annoyance.

"I asked on a Facebook group 'is this going to offend anyone, I'm proud to serve?'.

"People said 'go for it. I got 31 love heart emojis, 20 thumbs up and 70 positive comments.

"Then I got a knock at the door from a neighbour round the back who said 'we don't like that, are you going to take it down?'.

"They probably knocked on the door around 20 times over the next three days but I just ignored it.

"Then we got a letter from Harron Homes saying they had been instructed by a solicitor that I have to take the flagpole down because it's causing a nuisance.

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"I took it down but I have fought back."

The flagpole is not a permanent structure and Andrew intermittently switches the union jack with the England flag which he puts us during football and rugby matches.

The Sun Online has gone to Harron Homes for further comment.

Gulf War veteran, 51, is told to stop flying Union Flag in his own garden after neighbour complains it's a 'nuisance'SWNS:South West News Service6 He says he will fight the threat of legal action and wants to keep the flag up
Gulf War veteran, 51, is told to stop flying Union Flag in his own garden after neighbour complains it's a 'nuisance'SWNS:South West News Service6 He served in the British army between 1988 and 1994 and saw action during the Gulf War
Gulf War veteran, 51, is told to stop flying Union Flag in his own garden after neighbour complains it's a 'nuisance'SWNS:South West News Service6 He bought the £3 flag from eBay, which measures 5ft by 3ft
Gulf War veteran, 51, is told to stop flying Union Flag in his own garden after neighbour complains it's a 'nuisance'SWNS:South West News Service6 He said he checked in a local residents group to see if it would cause offence
Gulf War veteran, 51, is told to stop flying Union Flag in his own garden after neighbour complains it's a 'nuisance'SWNS:South West News Service6 The dad-of-two served six years in the Royal Signals
History of the Union Jack

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