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

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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.”

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