Worthing council in Sussex is forcing a pub landlord to pay a £220 fee to be allowed to keep flying the European flag outside his pub.

The Brighton Argus reports:

The row over the controversial blue and gold Ring of Stars emblem was sparked by a complaint from retired insuranceman John Strange.

Mr Strange, 68, of Gorse Avenue, Worthing, said: “The EU flag is the flag of a totalitarian foreign power which, with the help of Quislings in Westminster, intends to take over our country.

“More than a million of our people fought and died in two world wars so we might enjoy the freedom to live in our own land in accordance with our own laws.

“I trust the next time I pass along Montague Street I shall not be offended by the sight of this foul emblem flying in front of the pub.”

The council argues that because the EU flag is not a national flag, it constitutes advertising flag, which would require advertising consent from the council.

This is a joke, right? I think Mr Strange and Worthing council should read Article 10 ECHR at their earliest possible convenience.

I wonder if Mr Strange is the same John Strange of Worthing who, in 2002, wrote the following to the Times:

GO IT ALONE: McDonagh’s informative article on the next immigration wave ends by saying that “it’s a European question … and there’s absolutely nothing that anyone can do about it”.

But we can do something about it: we can withdraw from the European Union and decide our own immigration policy.

John Strange
Worthing, Sussex.

Update: (14/12/04 08:41): I see this morning that the Argus’ links are not permanent. For the record, the linked story was on the front page of yesterday’s Argus.

Update 2: (14/12/04 08:46): The link habove as now been updated to the story in the Argus’ archive.