Foreign secretary Philip Hammond tells ambassadors not to fly gay pride flag during marches

 
Ashley Kirk
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A rainbow gay pride flag flies on Whitehall in 2014, before same-sex marriage became law in England and Wales (Source: Getty)

UK embassies around the world have been told not to fly the rainbow flag during this year's gay pride parades.

Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, has insisted that the flag - a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement - should not replace the union flag.

With William Hague as foreign secretary last year, the gay pride flag flew in Whitehall. The foreign office shared a picture of the flag as the gay pride march made its way through London.

Several global embassies - including those in Paris, Oslo, Tel Aviv and Santiago - all flew the flag last year.

Hammond was one of four cabinet ministers not to vote for gay marriage. In 2012, he said the policy was "upsetting vast numbers of people".

Despite flying the flag last year, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office told the Daily Mail that the union flag must "always take priority". They added:

It is flown from the FCO’s main flagpole at all times. It is never substituted for another flag. It is the FCO’s long-standing policy to fly the Union flag, national flags and the flags of Overseas Territories.

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