EU snub! Gibraltar brings down EU flag and replaces it with Commonwealth banner

Picardo: Nothing will cleave Gibraltar from the UK

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Ministers revealed the flag of the group of 54 “independent and equal” nations, most of whom used to be part of the former British Empire, would be flown in the British Overseas Territory. The Commonwealth of Nations is headed by The Queen and is seen as a powerful reminder of British colonialism and the common shared use of the English language.

Gibrilatian government officials said since the UK’s departure from the European Union: “Gibraltar found itself with three flagpoles and only two flags to fly.”

Under the new policy, the Union Jack and the Flag of Gibraltar will fly with the Commonwealth flag.

Joseph Garcia, Deputy Chief Minister of the British Overseas Territory said the move was a “powerful symbolic statement”.

Dr Garcia added: “It reflected the policy of the Government in one simple gesture by making it clear that as one door closed, other doors would open.”

Speaking on Commonwealth Day, Mr Garcia who is also Minister for the Commonwealth for the Rock stressed they had a “long and proud tradition of engagement with the institutions, organisations and countries of the Commonwealth.”

He continued: “This year’s theme for Commonwealth Day is ‘Delivering a Common Future’ and, as we seek to reset our relationship with the European Union, that with the Commonwealth has become more relevant than ever before.”

The Deputy Chief Minister pledged Gibraltar was “closer than ever” to the Commonwealth claiming Brexit had been the “catalyst that has strengthened those relations.”

He concluded: “Gibraltar now has to take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead; a future that, no doubt, our young people will help to shape.”

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Despite the Commonwealth commitment, the Rock is the only civilian British Overseas Territory that will remain part of the EU in terms of policies.

Under the last-minute Brexit deal agreed on December 31, Gibraltar, whose sovereignty is disputed by Spain and Britain, will join the border-free Schengen Area for the first time.

This means the 1.2km border between the Rock and Spain’s Iberian Peninsula will be taken down and free movement will be allowed.

The agreement represents the biggest shift in Spanish-Gibraltarian bilateral relations since Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in 1713 during the War of Spanish Succession.

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It comes just weeks after the Express revealed Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had requested the EU flag to be flown above all Scottish Government buildings.

In the Scottish Government’s flag flying guidance 2021 approved by the First Minister, it was requested that the EU flag be flown on a daily basis.

The guidance said: “The First Minister has instructed that the European flag is flown from Scottish Government buildings on a daily basis except for specific flag flying dates.”

Alongside this, the post-Brexit guidance states the Union flag may only be flown once a year on Remembrance Sunday.

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