The European flag will continue to fly at Edinburgh City Chambers despite Scotland and the UK leaving the EU, the capital’s Lord Provost has announced.

Green Party adviser Staniforth tabled a motion at Thursday’s plenary council meeting, noting that in the 2016 EU referendum, “Edinburgh was the most supported city in the UK” with 74.4% of citizens voting to stay in the UK.

Cllr Staniforth said that “to mark our city’s strong desire to remain in the EU, the Council of Europe flag should be hoisted daily over the City Chambers until Edinburgh is once again part of the EU. the EU ”.

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He added that there would be exceptions on days when hoisting a flag to mark or commemorate a specific day of celebration or commemoration made it “impossible”.

The UK officially left the European Union on January 31 following the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Conservative group leader Cllr Iain Whyte had told councilors that “I don’t think we want to get into a debate on flags”, before Cllr Staniforth withdrew the motion after being reassured by Lord Provost Frank Ross that the symbol will remain above City Chambers.

Lord Provost said: “The flag which currently flies over our municipal chambers, although commonly referred to as the EU flag, is in fact also the flag of the Council of Europe. It has been around since 1955 and as the UK will continue to be a member of the Council of Europe, we will continue to fly this flag. ”

The message was echoed by council chief Adam McVey, but conservative opponents, who said the authority should focus on improving council services, rather than token gestures.

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Conservative Group Chairman Cllr Jason Rust said: “The flag was first unveiled as the flag of the Council of Europe and the rest. The Council of Europe has almost 50 member states and is responsible for the European Court of Human Rights of which we remain a member.

“Sure enough, nothing changes in that regard, so it was just a fabricated argument and an attempt to create a row where there isn’t one.” It would have been better to focus on values ​​than symbolism. ”

He added: “Frankly, the whole flag issue was just a distraction from the core business of city council. Residents would rather we focus on the flagstones and not the flags.”


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