A rainbow flag has been flown above the Cabinet office in celebration of Pride.

The flag, often flown at pride events, was flown today, coinciding with World Pride, and ahead of Pride in London, which will take place this weekend.

In a first for central Government, the Cabinet Office flew a rainbow flag to mark World Pride being in 2012 in London.

The iconic flag was flown at the personal request of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Officials said that Mr Clegg thought it “was about time for Whitehall to bring itself up to date” by flying the flag in solidarity with the LGBT community.

The rainbow flag was also flown over Whitehall, in celebration of the first same-sex marriages which will took place in March.

Mr Clegg and Cabinet Minister Francis Maude ordered the rainbow flag to be flown at the top of the Cabinet Office and the Scotland Office on the first weekend the marriages took place.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Communities Minister Baroness Stowell also raised the rainbow flag outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in Westminster to mark the historic arrival of equal marriage in England and Wales.

Designed in San Francisco in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, the original flag had eight stripes instead of today’s six horizontal stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.