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Essex landlord forced by council to remove gay pride flags from pub

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  1. What utter bureaucratic nonsense from the Council in this case. Surely they should have bigger things to worry about than the flying of the Rainbow Flag?

    Good on the landlord for having the made into curtains.

  2. “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.”

    Er… where exactly is the nation of Gay? Because frankly I want to move there.

    1. I spotted that as well. It’s not a national flag, it’s just a flag. The Olympic flag isn’t a national flag either, would they have had THAT torn down as fast?

      1. GingerlyColors 21 Aug 2012, 7:28am

        During the Torch Relay, several shop owners put up Olympic Rings in their windows made out of hula hoops or bagels and were warned to take them down as they are a copyrighted logo, owned by the International Olympic Committee and only people or businesses who were sponsoring the Games were allowed to display the Rings. I personally believe that both the Rainbow Flag and the Olympic Rings should be in the public domain.

    2. I think the reasoning was that they weren’t national flags rather than that there were three of them.

      Nice move with the curtains though.

    3. Spanner1960 20 Aug 2012, 10:45pm

      What precisely is he supposed to be selling?

      1. Clearly, that Gay Agenda! Didn’t you know we bottle it and sell it at pubs, it’s a lovely brew ;-)

    4. Paul Brownsey 21 Aug 2012, 12:10pm

      “only one national flag can be flown without permission ”

      Perhaps what is meant is “only one flag, namely, the national flag, can be flown without permission”

  3. Robert Brown 20 Aug 2012, 3:38pm

    The UK is becoming more homophobic . . . it’s time we started demanding equality . . .

    1. That There Other David 20 Aug 2012, 8:48pm

      It’s because of the active lobbying going on against us by the churches. The older generation still have much of the bureaucratic power, and are pretty much the only people the religious lobby has any sway with.

      It’s a trend that will only last as long as the generation in question are around. Demographics will see this petty blocking tactics swept aside soon enough, so don’t sweat it.

      1. While I hope you are right (and broadly agree with your logic), apathy is not the answer now, and nor should it be whatever the future holds for the LGBT community. “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

        I think the ingenious ‘curtain’ response is a step in the right direction. The whole business of policing flags seems a peculiar passtime, but about what I’d expect from a bunch of self-promoting chair warmers in local government.

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

    Hahaha! Brilliant! Suck on that, haters.

    1. A similar thing happened in Sho when gay bars were told by Westminster Council that it was advertising and had no planning permission. It’s just anti Gay and homophobic. Love the curtains idea. Well done for standing up and fighting back.

    2. Moral of the story…

      Don’t piss off a creative gay man who can sew!

    3. Let’s hear it for the landlord! Great move!

  5. Good for him (the landlord).

  6. Margrete Cowie 20 Aug 2012, 3:52pm

    Good man! Well played!

  7. Dear Mr Culham, if you would like me to make some more into table cloths for outside and knit you a chimney cover just say!!!

    Enough oppression and idiocy. you want to add pride to your pub then add it. let the small minded NIMBY’s drink elsewhere….. next time I am out that way I will be looking your pub up deliberately to stop and have a drink in. you are pink £’s up from me! xxxxxxxx

  8. I would have just ignored the council tbh

    1. Spanner1960 20 Aug 2012, 10:46pm

      Ditto. Take me to court. Let’s get this out in the open and name names.

  9. Robyn Harper 20 Aug 2012, 4:02pm

    How innovative of Mr Culham! Love it.

    1. Patrick Cedo 20 Aug 2012, 4:04pm

      What rules?

  10. Colchester, Witham and the surrounding areas are like middle America full of bigots and homophobes. My sister in-law lives in Witham and she a horrible person. Most of her friends are strange and awful!

    The Parish Council should be ashamed of themselves.

  11. haha curtains. good on him!

    1. Yeah, well that big old biffa Eric Pickles needs to put down his pork pie and get on with it then ;-)

  12. Love his creativity!!!!!

  13. I suggest u paint the whole outside of the pub in rainbow colours !
    I’ll definately contribute to the cost !!!

    1. Nah, paint the front of the council offices… they might just get the hint then…

  14. Instead of removing the flags, remove those ignorant bigots from their village….

  15. Can’t fly the Gay Pride flags!


    I would royally peeve the Parish for the petty attitude.

    Rainbow umbrella’s on all the tables outside the pub… “so bright and cheery”

    Perhaps a new line of Car Covers for my car and those of patrons who support me!

    Nothing as nice as a rainbow after a storm!

  16. Since when is gay a nation?
    They’re not “national flags” they’re gay pride flags.
    This parish council looked for any possible excuse to remove these and should be ashamed

  17. 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.

    We are a nation of gays, HAHA! F***ing idiot religious nut jobs!

  18. Christopher 20 Aug 2012, 8:27pm

    What would Carol Burnett have done?

    (I saw it hanging in the window and simply had to have it!!!)

    1. TheGreatSpaces 21 Aug 2012, 12:11am


  19. So I guess the council exempts itself from its own rules then?

    How many flags are flying outside the council offices I ask?

    One rule for the rulemakers… another for the general public, except if you’re a politician, then you just make the ruls up to suit you…

  20. “The Braintree & Witham Times reported that rules state that only one national flag can be flown without permission”

    Doesn’t say which nation. The Rainbow Flag is the official flag of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, which is a micronation off Northern Australia. I’d get one of those flags back up, Mr. Culham.

  21. if the problem is he can’t fly non national flags without permission, then the answer is simple; grant him permission. He’s not advertising anything

    1. The only thing deviant here is your bigotry. Take it and take a LONG walk off a SHORT pier!

  22. Love the curtains!!! PMSL! The irony is lost on them! :-)

  23. Pavlos Prince of Greece 21 Aug 2012, 12:58am

    Wow, what is good enough for Downing Street 10, is not for some people in Essex! I never more believe, that men from province can not be a snob.

    1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 21 Aug 2012, 2:11am

      I have in mind the Rainbow Flag on the Downing Street last month, of course!

    2. Gullible traveller 21 Aug 2012, 8:17am

      Have the got rainbow flag outside no 10? Is that from when Ted Heath was PM?

  24. GingerlyColors 21 Aug 2012, 7:19am

    Brains certainly don’t grow on trees in Essex, so why do they have a place called Braintree? If customers had objected then I am sure they would have taken their money elsewhere but obviously they hadn’t. Would the snob who complained, complain if it were a bikers’ pub instead? A case of NIMBYism I guess. This country is hemorrhaging pubs at the rate of almost 30 a week and at this rate the UK will be as dry as Saudi Arabia in 35 years time so local and national government should be doing everything to help the pubs and that means allowing them to cater for the type of customers they wish to attract as well as slashing duty on draught beers.

  25. Paul from Brighton 21 Aug 2012, 9:10am

    This business with councils policing flags is nothing new. Westminster Council previously launched many an attack on gay bars in Soho for flying flags. Same happened previously in Brighton, so it’s hardly surprising we’re seeing it in Essex.

    What’s happening here is the narrow minded bigots trying to hit back with what little they have left – ie, petty council bureacracy.

    Must be awful being a homophobe having previously enjoyed legal protection to attack, sack and do as you please against gay people when today, those laws no longer protect you, but your victims.

    Good luck to the Landlord, well done.

  26. It’s sad that someone providing a service to the village should be treated in this way. As pubs close down in villages and locals are left without a watering hole they are quick to complain.
    Clearly this has nothing to do with the flags but what they stood for. Homophobic idiots!

  27. You can be pretty sure that this is the sort of pettifogging regulation that everybody ignores and most people don’t even know about until somebody’s prejudices are poked. A court case would have been a fascinating test of this nonsense – arguing that a rainbow flag is a cultural symbol, neither national nor commercial.

  28. burningworm 21 Aug 2012, 11:33am

    There has always been a tension within the gay rights movement between whether you are going to demand equality or privilege difference.

    These two things move up and down all of the time and you can’t have a sensible notion of equality if you haven’t got some concept of sameness. If you over apply the concept of sameness because you think differences have been exaggerated, you then begin to oppress people who feel strongly that there are differences.

    The way the pendulum has swung it is high time for this society to privilege difference.

    1. Spanner1960 21 Aug 2012, 12:22pm

      What you are basically saying is you want to be the same but different?
      Either we have equality and get treated like every other Joe Blow in the street, or we get a special dispensation for our minority status but not expect to get what everybody else has.

      You can’t have it both ways.

  29. Marrying the one you love? You can do that as I’m assuming that that will eventually be a woman.
    I can’t as the one I love happens to also be male.
    Also the rights you make light off have only recently been granted to us. There are people in our community who still remember the time when being gay was illegal and you could be imprisoned just for being who you are.
    Please have some respect for everyone who has helped us become more equal, it has been a hard won battle that still goes on today.

  30. How about application for employment as a catholic priest, well you did just ask for one example. There are many but I wouldny waste another second of my time engaging with a hateful illiterate such as yourself!!!

    1. My last comment may not make sense as it was in response to remarks which have now quite rightly been removed.

  31. Clive Rowlands 21 Aug 2012, 12:36pm

    I wasn’t aware that the Rainbow flag is a ‘National Flag’.
    Which nation does it represent?

  32. Robert Brown 21 Aug 2012, 1:11pm

    . . . he should make them in to a sari and mince up and down the high street . . .

  33. “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.”
    So LGBT is a nationality now? That’s a new one.

  34. The Freedom Flag is not a national flag so the council are wrong. I think if you ever took the council to court over this you would win, and set a national presedence. Love the idea of curtains. You may have just started something with that. Otherwise how about Freedom Umbrellas in the garden ,seat pads, beer mats,and why not have your main sign,The Lion, re painted with a lion and a freedom flag maine!

  35. NutjobsareeverywheretheUNtoo 21 Aug 2012, 4:31pm

    Why not paint the pub rainbow colours and rename it the rainbow !!

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


  37. So some busy body enforcement officer in the council with nothing better to do, probably egged on by some passer-by who lives 400 miles away from the pub, decided to enforce this. Rather than actually support the local economy, this council officer decides to try and drive business away. Mr Culham, a landlord, paying huge sums in business rates and such like, has been the subject of a campaign by one individual.

    Tendring Council: rather than waste council tax payers money on ‘enforcement action’ over a flag with six different coloured stripes… why not go after council tax avoiders and such like? Mr Culham, gets a thumbs up from me… and a few pints will be bought in there if I head out that way!


  38. Brilliant move; Rainbow curtains!
    Well done Mr Culham!

  39. Catherine Leyow 22 Aug 2012, 3:34am

    The landlord’s turned ‘making curtains’ into a political act. I love it!

  40. … or he could have applied for planning permission to the city/county council and have the matter decided properly, instead of sulking?

  41. “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.”

    No planning consent is required for the Union flag or that of any nation, flags that are considered adverts, like the Rainbow flag do indeed need planning consent, its like this nationwide..

    Checking before hanging flags, saves all this unnecessary upheaval.

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