Operation London Bridge - Flag Protocol

What to do with your flags in the days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II

In September 2021, the outline plans, codenamed operation LONDON BRIDGE, were published detailing what will happen in the days following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. These plans go into great depth, although as with all things may be subject to change, outlining a series events that will take place during the 10 days leading up to the Queen's Funeral. A brief summary of these events can be found below;

Day 0: In the hours after the Queen's Death a sequence of communications will be triggered, culmination with the Prime Minister making a public statement.  The Royal family will announce plans for the queen's funeral and at 6pm King Charles will deliver a broadcast to the nation. Union flags and all other flags should be flown at half-mast as soon as possible.

Flags flown at half mast

+1: The Accession Council will meet at St James' Palace to proclaim King Charles as the new Sovereign. Following this, the Prime Minister and the cabinet will hold an audience with the new king. 

Flags flown at full mast following the proclamation

+2: The Queen's coffin will return to Buckingham Palace.

Flags flown at half mast

+3: King Charles will receive the notion of condolence before embarking on a tour of the UK, starting with a visit to the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.

Flags flown at half mast

+4: King Charles will visit Northern Ireland to receive another notion of condolence. A rehearsal will take place for the procession of the Queen's coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, this is known as operation LION. 

Flags flown at half mast

+5: Operation LION will take place with a service at the palace of Westminster following the arrival of the coffin.

Flags flown at half mast

+6 to +9: The Queen will lie in state for three days in the Palace of Westminster which will be open to the public 23 hours a day. A rehearsal for the state funeral procession will also take place.

Flags flown at half mast

+ 7: King Charles will take a trip to Wales to receive the final motion of condolence at the Welsh Parliament before attending a service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. 

Flags flown at half mast

+10: The state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey and a two minutes' silence will be held at midday. There will be a committal service held in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, with the queen buried in the Castle's King George VI Memorial Chapel. 

Flags flown at half mast

Source: Politico

Download Operation London Bridge Flag Protocol

Flying Your Flags at Half-mast

As a mark of respect, it is important to fly your union flag at half-mast as soon as possible following the announcement, with it remainder here until after the funeral.

Official flag protocol suggests that the flag should be lowered until Proclamation Day (D - Day +1), when flags are flown right following the proclamation, however if this is not possible for practical reasons it is reasonable to expect that flags will be flown at half mast for the duration of the 10 days.

During this period, all other flags with the exception of the Royal Standard which represents the Monarchy and never flies at half mast, should be flown at half mast or even completely removed. Should a Flag Day occur during this time, all flags should remain at half mast.

It is important to note that on wall mounted flagpoles more than 45 degrees from vertical, it is not possible to half mast your flag. In this case, it is important to instead to either remove your flag or install a Mourning Bow or Cravat located between the top of the flag and the finial.

Take a look at our half-mast protocol for advice on how to fly your flag correctly during this time.

Source: The Flag Institute

View Half-mast Protocol

You May Be Interested In...

Union Flag

Union (United Kingdom)

union Jack Bunting

Union Jack Bunting

Budget wall mounted Flagpole

Union Flag & Flagpole Package

Questions Or Queries?

If you have any questions about following the correct protocol when flying a flag at half mast, please get in touch today and we'd happy to assist you.

Exclusive offers direct to your inbox

Subscribe today to receive offers available only to our subscribers.

You can unsubscribe at any time

Registered and Accredited