Veteran is told: you can't fly your Union Flag here

Christopher Bishop with the flagpole and Union flag at his housing association home in Kidlington. Picture: OX69577 Richard Cave

Christopher Bishop with the flagpole and Union flag at his housing association home in Kidlington. Picture: OX69577 Richard Cave Buy this photo

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore. Please call me on (01865) 425422

A DISABLED army veteran has said he is being made to feel ashamed to be British after he was told to remove a Union flag from his garden.

Christopher Bishop, of Evans Lane, Kidlington, said he was told to remove the flag by landlord Sanctuary Housing after the housing association received complaints.

The 49-year-old, who served as a rifleman with the Royal Green Jackets from 1987 to 1993 suffers from the genetic degenerative disorder Huntington’s disease and epilepsy.

Mr Bishop, who was stationed in Germany during his Army career, said the stress the incident has caused him to feel suicidal. He said: “I have been flying the flag for a year.

“On Wednesday, a housing officer came around and said I had to take it down because they had had a complaint that it was insensitive.

“I just feel like ending my life. I feel like there is nothing left for me to be proud of anymore.

“I was brought up to love my God, Queen and country.

“I am being made to feel ashamed of being British.”

Sanctuary Housing said it had received complaints about other flags Mr Bishop has flown, but not the Union flag.

A spokeswoman said: “Concerns have been raised around some of the flags that Mr Bishop has previously chosen to fly.

“Whilst we have not received comments from neighbours about our tenant flying the Union flag, his tenancy agreement is clear that alterations to his home require permission, and this would include the installation of a flagpole. We remain in discussions with him to reach a satisfactory conclusion.”

They could not confirm which other flags were flown.

Mr Bishop said he had flown a range of flags in the past, including a UKIP flag during the European election campaign, a St George’s cross and an Israeli flag.

He added: “It is really hurting me because in the last 20 years I have always had a flag flying.

“I love my home and I love my country and it gives me a lot of pleasure to fly my flag.”

Neighbour Marrianne Musk, who lives in Mill Street, said: “It hasn’t offended me at all. Does it really matter if someone has a flag in their garden?

“I don’t see why we cannot have a flag up. When the football team is playing everyone has them up.”

Top News

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Tributes paid to man stabbed to death by Abingdon riverbank

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A WOMAN was last night being held in custody on suspicion of murder after a man was found fatally stabbed in Abingdon.

UPDATE: Woman, 40, appears in court charged with murder after a man was stabbed in Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

10:03am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A WOMAN has appeared in court charged with murder after a man was stabbed in Abingdon on Sunday night.

Pensioner dies in hospital after motorbike crash

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:39pm Tuesday 21st October 2014

A 74-year-old  man who was injured when his motorcycle collided with a car last month has died in hospital.

Robber sent to prison for part in £11,000 Park End Street attack

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

9:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A ROBBER who beat a man up as a distraction while his accomplice stole £11,000 from his victim’s wife has been jailed.

Let Oxford expand beyond its boundaries says housing crisis report

Oxford Mail: oxford city council logo

7:30am Tuesday 21st October 2014

OXFORD is an example of a city which should be allowed to grow beyond its boundaries, according to a national report.

Drop former English Defence League leader as speaker, Oxford Union urged

Oxford Mail: The Oxford Union

6:40am Tuesday 21st October 2014

NEARLY 200 Oxford academics, students, councillors and trade union leaders have signed an open letter calling for the Oxford Union to cancel an invitation to the former leader of the English Defence League to speak.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree