A pub in Essex has been forced to take down rainbow pride flags after complaints from villagers.

The three flags were hanging at the front of The Lion, in the village of Ardleigh, close to Colchester.

But Tendring Council enforcement chiefs said that they had to be taken down after the parish council complained.

The Braintree & Witham Times reported that rules state that only one national flag can be flown without permission and the gay pride flag display was therefore against advertising regulations.

The landlord of the pub, Stephen Culham, was angry about the demand and questioned whether he’d have been asked to remove the flags had they been Union Jacks.

Mr Culham said: “I have run my business in the village, for the village and they have given me two fingers.

“My policy is we don’t care who you are or who you sleep with. We welcome everyone. As a proud gay man I have taken enormous offence at this.”

Mr Culham, 34, retaliated by making the flags into curtains, which are now hanging in the pub’s window.