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Flag flying guidance: half-mast

9th Sep 2022
By sarah-jane grainger |
Advice | Flags |

Following the extremely sad news that Her Majesty The Queen has passed away, flags should be half-masted as soon as possible. Here’s our simple guide to ensure your flag follows the official guidance.

  • All official flags (this includes national flags of the home nations, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, Ensigns and Ships’ colours) should be lowered.
  • If you are only flying non-official flags, these should be taken down and replaced with a Union Flag at half-mast.
  • Other official flags scheduled to be flown can be flown as normal, but at half-mast.
  • To lower your flag, quickly raise your flag to the top of the pole as you normally would. Once the flag is at the top, let the flag stay for a few seconds and then slowly lower the flag a third of the way down the pole and tie off you halyard.
  • Half-mast means the flag is flown a third of the way down the flagpole from the top, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole.
  • On poles that are more than 45° from the vertical, flags cannot be flown at half-mast and should not be flown at all. Alternatively, a black ribbon (a Mourning Cravat) can be added to the to of the flag.
  • The Union Flag must be flown the correct way up – in the half of the flag nearest the flagpole, the wider diagonal white stripe must be above the red diagonal stripe.
  • Flags should remain at half-mast until 8am the day after The Queen’s State Funeral and may be flown overnight during this period.


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