You’d be forgiven for not noticing which flag is flying above the Council House from one day to the next.
Apart from St George’s Day of course, when one of the largest flags in the country is strapped to the front of the historic building.
But above that, there’s a very tall flagpole, and strict Government rules dictate which days a Union flag has to be flown at official public buildings like the council house.
Most of the year the flag of Nottingham is flown, but on high days and holy days this has to be replaced.
Some of them are obvious – like the Queen’s birthday and Remembrance Day – but others are more obscure.
The list is set by the Government, and is sent to all councils each year.
Interestingly, there is no instruction for flags to be flown for Harry or Megan’s birthdays, although Will and Kate do get flags flown for theirs. As does Prince Andrew.
Rules are slightly different in Scotland and Wales, but here’s the list for England.
January 9, Birthday of the Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton is the Queen’s grand-daughter in law, and the mother of the future King. She’s currently 38 years old.
January 20, Birthday of the Countess of Wessex
The Countess of Wessex was born Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones and is married to Prince Edward. She’s the Queen’s daughter in law, and is 55 years old.
February 6, the Queen’s Accession to the throne
The Queen ascended to the throne on this day in 1952 when her father King George VI died and she was in Kenya.
February 19, Birthday of the Duke of York
The Queen’s third child, Prince Andrew, made headlines around the world last year after an interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis about his links to the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He is 59 years old.
March 9, Commonwealth Day
Formerly known as Empire Day, it is held on the second Monday in March. The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth, which is broadcast across the world.
March 10, Birthday of the Earl of Wessex
The Queen’s youngest child, Prince Edward. At the time of his birth, he was third in line of succession to the British throne. He is currently 11th, and is 55 years old.
April 21, Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen
Does she really need an introduction? If the name’s not ringing a bell, have a look in your wallet. Her Majesty is currently 93. Naturally, she has two birthdays. This is the actual day of her birth, but parades are a bit chilly in April, so she has an official birthday in June as well.
April 23, St George’s Day
On the patron saint’s day of England, you’d expect the main flag to be – well – the English flag. But you would be incorrect. The rules stipulate that: “Where a building has two or more flagpoles the appropriate national flag (St George’s Cross) may be flown in addition to the union flag but not in a superior position.”
Nottingham City Council gets round this rule – and presumably a visit from the flag police – by sticking an enormous cross of St George on the front of the building itself.
June 2, Coronation Day
The Queen was 25 when she ascended the throne, but after the death of a monarch, it is considered insensitive and inappropriate to hold the coronation straight away. Queen Elizabeth had to wait 16 months. At the time, she was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
June 10, Birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, was born into the Greek and Danish royal families, but his family was exiled from Greece when he was a child. He is now 98 – a year and a half away from receiving a congratulatory telegram for his 100th birthday from his wife.
June 13, Official birthday of Her Majesty The Queen
The day, on the second Saturday in June in the UK, is marked with the Trooping of the Colour, also known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade. In other parts of the Commonwealth, the celebration is held on other days. In Canada, it is marked on the last Monday before May 24. It is an official public holiday in Gibraltar.
June 21, Birthday of the Duke of Cambridge
The third in line to the throne, Prince William is currently 37.
July 17, Birthday of the Duchess of Cornwall
The second wife of Prince Charles, Camilla is currently 72.
August 15, Birthday of the Princess Royal
The Queen’s oldest daughter, Princess Anne is currently 69. An Olympian, she was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971.
November 8, Remembrance Day
Marked on the second Sunday in November. Rules stipulate that the flag should be flown at half mast, out of respect for those who gave their lives.
November 14, Birthday of the Prince of Wales
The next King’s birthday. Prince Charles is known as the Prince of Wales everywhere in the World except Scotland, where he uses the title Duke of Rothesay. Other titles he carries in Scotland are Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
November 20, Her Majesty’s Wedding Day
Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip (Then called Philip Mountbatten) in 1947. They received 2,500 wedding presents and 10,000 telegrams of congratulations.