North West Wales

Union flag move in Tywyn sparks row

The flag design
The specially-designed blue and yellow banner is in the centre of the prom

There are calls for the Union flag to be reinstated in its "correct position" on the promenade in a Gwynedd seaside town.

It has been replaced by a specially-designed blue and yellow banner in the centre of the prom in Tywyn.

The move led to a complaint and the flag was reinstated - but only for a day, and it is now situated at the end of the seafront.

Gwynedd council said it would be holding discussions with the community.

The new flag on the prom was developed by Tywyn and District Chamber of Tourism and Commerce two years ago. It features a raven and a dolphin, and supporters have claimed it gives Tywyn an identity.

But three weeks ago resident Cyril Asprey wrote to Gwynedd council's maritime and country parks officer to complain the Union flag had been replaced by the banner.

"Only two flags are allowed to fly in the centre of the prom and they are the two national flags, the Welsh flag and the Union flag," said Mr Asprey.

"After I complained to the council the Union flag was put back, but only for one day. It was taken down and put up at the end of the prom where the blue flag, for beach quality, should fly."

Mr Asprey and his wife Marie retired to Tywyn from near Dudley in the West Midlands 10 years ago.

The Tywyn banner and Union flag on show in a previous summer in the centre of the prom

'Illegal'

"I'm proud of my flag but I also have a Welsh flag flying in my garden," said Mr Asprey.

"A number of us in the town are frustrated that the Union flag is not flying in the correct position.

"The blue and yellow flag should not be flying where it is. I've been told it's illegal and should not be flying at all on the seafront."

A Gwynedd council spokesperson said the council's maritime and country parks unit had positioned three flag poles to "improve the visual aspect" of Tywyn's promenade.

"Two of the flag poles were positioned next to the Victorian shelter with a further flag pole positioned by the slipway opposite Neptune Road," added the spokesperson.

"Gwynedd council had agreed to temporarily display the Tywyn summer flag over the Easter holiday. The council will now be holding further discussions with the community to agree on future plans."

Chamber of tourism and commerce (CTC) chairman Mike Stevens said two flag poles in the centre of the prom were erected at the suggestion and in partnership with the CTC and Gwynedd council.

"The CTC paid £480 in 2012 for the pole that the Tywyn flag is flying on," he added.

"Having paid for the pole surely they have the option to fly the flag of their choosing."

Mr Stevens said the Union flag was hoisted on a spare a pole at the north end of the promenade last Friday after discussions with Gwynedd council.

It is not the first time the issue of the Tywyn banner has provoked a reaction.

When the flag was first flown in the town two years, there were claims it was at the expense of the Welsh flag, and that the Tywyn banner design did little to reflect the image of the town.

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