Tuesday, 6 July 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
152. Mr. Cregan asked the Taoiseach the rules, regulations and protocols in relation to raising and flying of the Irish flag on government Buildings throughout the city of Dublin; the locations and national institutions at which it is authorised or approved; if flying of the flag is on a seven day basis, five day basis, or is occasional; if discretion is left to local managers or laid down with regard to frequency, timing of removal and; if it is in order for the flag to be taken down during summer hours at 4.30 p.m. or 5.00 p.m to save overtime; and if he will make a statement on the matter and outline procedure. [20398/04]
A booklet entitled “An Bhratach Náisiúnta -The National Flag”, contains guidelines for the public, including state institutions, in respect of flying the national flag. It is intended to be advisory rather than prescriptive and to facilitate the according of appropriate honour and respect to the national flag. A revised copy of the booklet was sent to all schools in the country and placed in the Houses of the Oireachtas Library on publication in 2001. It is available for sale from the Government publications sales office and can also be accessed on my Department’s website.
The booklet advises on display, placing and precedence. It gives advice on the raising and lowering of the national flag, the times and occasions on which the flag is to be flown as well as practices to be avoided. There is no procedure for specifying approved or recognised locations or national institutions from which the flag is to be flown. However, all government Departments are asked to fly the national flag from buildings under their control on specific dates. In practice this has tended to be the Departments’ headquarters and those subsidiary offices and regional centres equipped with flagpoles, which individual Departments deem appropriate.
The protocol for flying the national flag is intended to be applied in a common-sense way, adapted as necessary to suit local and individual situations and requirements. The underlying concern is that whenever the national flag is flown, it should be accorded due respect at all times.
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