Public buildings flag policy: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00257
Date received: 23 January 2018
Date responded: 20 February 2018

Information requested

A copy of all correspondence with the following bodies about the Scottish Government's policy on hoisting flags on public buildings between January 2016 and 23 January 2018:

i. Historic Environment Scotland

ii. The British Army


Each January the Scottish Government published operational guidance regarding flag flying. Bodies outside the Scottish Government have access to the guidance but are under no obligation to follow it.

I include copies of the guidance for 2016, 2017 and 2018. I also include email exchanges with Historic Environment Scotland.

You will see that personal data have been redacted.This is because an exemption under section 38 (1) of FOISA (personal information) applies. Disclosing personal information would contravene data protection principles in schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

With regards to The British Army. This is a formal notice under section 17 (1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the Information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

foi-18-00257 - Flag Flying Guidance 2018.pdf
foi-18-00257 - Flag Flying Guidance 2016.pdf
foi-18-00257 - Flag Flying Guidance 2017.pdf
FOI-18-00257 - related email correspondence.pdf


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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