Hackney Council agrees to fly the flag on St George’s Day

St George’s Day will be particularly happy for one Homerton pensioner – after he convinced the council to fly the English flag.

Peter Smith, 76, stood outside Hackney Town Hall for eight hours on St George’s Day last year waving the flag in protest at the council’s decision not to mark saints’ days.

But with the help of his local councillor Mr Smith has convinced chief executive Tim Shields to display the flag on April 23.

Mr Smith, of Banister House, Homerton Row, said: “I was born and raised here and I do feel strongly about the flag. Why can’t they fly it for one day of the year?

“It’s the way I was brought up. When I was a child, if the national anthem came on the television, my family used to stand because that was the way it was respected.”

Cllr Luke Akehurst, who passed on Mr Smith’s request, dismissed the idea that the flag was divisive. “The concept of Englishness is multicultural and inclusive,” he said.

“Hackney is the epitome of a diverse, multicultural diverse borough. We can celebrate Englishness not as something with anything to do with race but as a set of values.”