New licence to fly the flag for unity

The new licence
The new licence

It will be small enough to put in your pocket, but the message is huge for the community of South Holland.

From July, residents in the UK will have Union Flags on their driving licences.

John Hayes MP said it is with great pride that he is making the announcement in his role of Minister of State for Transport.

He said: “We are all proud Britons and part of that pride is displaying our flag. I smile at our flag and what it means.

“It is a vivid symbol of who we are and, as Transport Minister, I am delighted to be able to announce it will now be on driving licences in the UK.

“You only have to look at the Olympic Games and the shared sense of belonging we had at that time.

“I contacted schools in my constituency to get them to fly the Union Flag for the Games and it was a wonderful sight to see.

“Immediately a sense of pride swept the district.”

The European Union flag has been displayed on full driving licences since photocards first came into use in July 1998.

Mr Hayes said: “Displaying the Union Flag on driving licences is not meant to be exclusive but inclusive – for old and young and people of all backgrounds and nationalities.

“It’s about integrating newcomers and allowing them to share that sense of community.

“With pride in your flag comes respect – you see it when you visit America – and that has to be positive for the communities living in South Holland. What we share has got to be better than what divides us.”

The move has already enraged residents in Northern Ireland who will not be getting Union Flags on their driving licences.

Several petitions in England, Scotland and Wales have also been spawned from motorists who do not want the symbol on their licence.