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26 May 2010, 06:38
Northamptonshire Police say that over the past few weeks they've had a number of enquiries asking for advice in relation to the wearing and displaying of flags during the World Cup football tournament.
There've also been groups appearing on Facebook claiming that people would be arrested simply for wearing an England shirt or for displaying flags on cars or buildings.
The Force has decided to clarify its stance on the matter, after some Local Authorities have given guidance on the displaying of flags on public buildings.
Chief Superintendent Ian McNeill, who's in charge of policing operations in Northamptonshire during the World Cup Tournament, said: “Wearing England t-shirts, or t-shirts of any other nationality, is not an offence.
“Neither is putting up flags, and people are perfectly free to do so. We do not want to stop people from enjoying themselves during the World Cup.
If you are displaying flags from your car, these should not be dangerous or restrict the sight of the driver or other drivers.
“Members of the public should also be conscious that pub license holders may have specific dress codes, or landlords may enforce restrictions on flying flags. On the whole it should be OK to wear specific t-shirts or display flags.
“Officers may take action if individuals are seen committing offences, regardless of what they are wearing. Additional action may be taken if individuals are wearing clothes or displaying flags that have racist or offensive comments on them.
“Each officer will assess the circumstances and decide on the most appropriate course of action."