A Royal Air Force veteran has been threatened with a £2,500 fine for flying flags at her home, including one from Remembrance Day.
Former women's RAF drill sergeant Janis Patterson hoisted the flags up a pole in her garden in Chilwell in Nottingham. The latest carried an image of Santa and his reindeer to celebrate Christmas.
But she was left "very upset" when she received a letter from the council threatening her with prosecution if she didn't remove the flag.
The letter from Broxtow Borough Council arrived on December 1 and said she could be fined if she didn't remove it in seven days.
It read: "Unfortunately the flag and flagpole in question does not benefit from advertisement consent under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007 and the unauthorised display of advertisements is a criminal offence liable for prosecution.
"This could incur a fine not exceeding £2,500 for each advertisement displayed. Therefore I must request that the sign by permanently removed within seven days of the day of this letter."
"A compliance check will be made after this time to ensure removal.
"Alternatively an application for advertisement consent would be required by the Local Planning Authority to regularise this."
The mother of two said she researched whether she could put the flag pole in her garden before doing it, even contacting the local council.
She told the Nottingham Post:
"I was very upset when I opened the letter with the fine. I had emailed the council and searched on Google to make sure it was okay."
"I asked my neighbours if they were okay with it and they said they were. I searched Google and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and because it was not above 24 foot and I wouldn't be advertising I thought it would be okay."
Janis still doesn’t believe the smiley face, Remembrance Day flag and the one depicting Santa could be called advertising.
Photography courtesy of SWNS.