A POLICE station has reinstated the Saltire after flying the Union flag for more than a month – contrary to Scottish Government guidance.

The building changed from Scotland’s national flag to the red, white and blue banner for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on June 2 and kept it raised above the building until this weekend.

The move sparked a complaint from the public, who took top officers at Greenock police station to task over the matter.

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Chris McEleny, a former Inverclyde councillor and the general secretary of Alba, wrote to officers at the police station to demand to know why the Union flag was flying over the station.

It appears Greenock police went against Scottish Government guidance by flying the Union flag to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne last month, as state buildings are advised in the latest guidance to fly the Royal Standard, also known as the Lion Rampant.

Government buildings were advised to fly the Royal Banner for the Platinum Jubilee from 8am on June 2 until sundown that day.

It also appears the police station failed to fly the Armed Forces Day flag on June 25, in honour of those killed in service, per Government guidance, and instead kept the Union flag hoisted over the building.

McEleny told The National: “I don’t think it’s a very good sign for that weekend particularly, with the amount of marches that were on the streets with Union flags.”

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This weekend saw the most amount of Orange Walks of the year as Loyalists celebrated the decisive victory of William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

It is one of the most significant dates in Loyalist tradition and marked a crucial turning point in the war in Ireland, which resulted in the island being brought under the British crown.

McEleny added: “The justification they forgot to take it down doesn’t address the fact that they must have forgot to take it down to fly the flag for Armed Forces Day, which is quite disrespectful to the armed forces personnel that are currently serving that live in Inverclyde and those who have previously have previously served.

“I’m pretty sure they would like to have their emergency services recognise the work they do.”

Emails between McEleny and a Police Scotland service adviser seen by The National reveal the flag was still flying as of July 2 – a month longer than it should have been had guidance been followed.

The service adviser wrote: “Having discussed your query with the response supervisor on duty at the moment, the explanation provided is that the Union Flag was put up for the Queens Jubilee and simply has not been taken down since.”

It is understood the Saltire was reinstated on Sunday, July 3.

The most recent guidance on flag flying was published by the Scottish Government in January this year and requires all state buildings – not including those run by local authorities – which have flag poles to fly the Saltire as default, with switches made for other days including those marking LGBT Pride days and Europe Day.

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The guidance states advice applies to the Scottish Government “its related Agencies and associated Departments”.

Councils and UK Government buildings have their own flag flying policies.

In 2018, Inverclyde Council - then under Labour control with the support of Conservative councillors - was criticised for failing to fly the Saltire from all council buildings on Scotland’s national day, St Andrew’s Day.

Chief Inspector Paul Cameron, area commander for Inverclyde, said: “The Union flag was flown at Greenock police station on Thursday, June 2 to mark the diamond jubilee weekend.

“It was not removed in error and was replaced by the Saltire on Sunday, July 3 when officers were made aware.”