Olympics vs Army in run up to London 2012
THE Olympic torch procession could prevent St Ives from flying a flag to support Armed Forces Day.
The town is on the chosen route of the Olympic Torch Relay and will be decorated with flags by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) two weeks before the runners pass through on July 8.
The strict Olympic rules state once the flags are up, they stay up – leaving nowhere for the Armed Forces Day flag to fly on June 30.
St Ives Town Council has been told it is not allowed to take down the decorations until after the Paralympics – in September – or confuse them with any other celebrations.
The council has had to buy decorations directly from LOCOG and now must decide whether to disregard the governing bodies’ wishes or find another way of supporting Armed Forces Day.
A council spokesman said: “LOCOG’s guidelines are so frustrating. When we decided to celebrate Armed Forces Day, it was on June 23 and LOCOG had agreed to put up the Olympic flags after the event.
“Because the [Armed Forces] day was changed to a week later we now have this problem.
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“We will have to make a practical decision on the day whether to take down the Olympic flag that we will fly from the Town Hall and put the other up or to not to put the Armed Forces decorations up at all.
“It’s not just our problem – it’s across the country, especially for those who see the torch visit them earlier as it affects their Jubilee celebrations.”
Huntingdonshire District Council will spend more than �3,500 providing decorations on the Olympic torch route, which will be revealed six weeks before the event.
However, the Royal British Legion believes the flag problem will not detract from Armed Forces Day.
Alan Levy, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire county manager, said: “It’s not an either/or situation.
“If one town council is not able to change their flag, it won’t detract from the other celebrations that will be happening around the town and the region.”
What do you think? Are LOCOG being reasonable? Or do you feel more consideration should be given to Armed Forces Day? E-mail your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.