Pride flag next to war memorial in Army town torn down amid protests

A row has broken out in a military town after the council erected an LGBT Pride flag next to a war memorial.

Residents of Ludgershall, Wilts, branded the positioning of the flag an “insult” to veterans, and two people tore it from its post and vandalised it.


One post said it was “out of order” for the flag to be flying by the war memorial, especially as the 80th anniversary of D-Day approached.

The flag had been due to be replaced later this week by a flag to commemorate D-Day, but because the rope was damaged by the vandals, it will no longer be possible to fly the memorial flag.

Owen White, the mayor and chairman of Ludgershall council, said on Tuesday that they had wanted to “show they were a progressive council in a progressive town” but it seemed the town “had a long way to go”.

Town has historic links to military

Ludgershall has long-standing connections with the military housing Army depots during the Second World War, where the US army prepared vehicles for the D-Day invasions.


Mr White told The Telegraph the backlash was a “kick in the teeth”, and called the vandalism a “hate crime”.

He added that the flagpole could cost up to £400 to repair. The vandalism is now under investigation by Wiltshire Police.

The “Progress Pride” flag design used by the council was ordered to be removed from prisons in November last year after it was accused of “promot[ing] gender ideology” by Nick Fletcher, a Conservative MP.


‘Place to object is at ballot box’

Danny Kruger, the Conservative candidate for the area at the general election, said he understood residents’ concerns but was “dismayed” that “vandals [had] taken matters into their own hands and damaged public property”, urging residents to instead “object… through the ballot box”.

The council insisted the flag’s proximity to the war memorial was simply a coincidence.

A spokesman for Ludgershall council claimed that the flagpole was positioned where it was merely because it was “more central for the town” and a “good visual place”, with no connection to the war memorial itself.

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