Pensioners ordered to take down 'offensive' football flags

The two men have urged the council to backtrack

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Two pensioners have been ordered by the council to remove Rangers FC flags from their sheltered housing in case they sparked "anti-social behaviour".

Neighbours Duncan James, 74, and Joe Stirling, 71 were told by a council warden that the flags, including one Union Jack, could offend locals, according to the Scottish Sun.

The pair then received a council letter ordering the removal of the flags "immediately", to avoid the “possible inciting of anti-social behaviour”, such as vandalism to their home in Troon, Ayrshire.

Mr James told the newspaper: “I think it’s ridiculous. We follow a football team and it’s only for our benefit so I don’t see what the problem is.

“We don’t drink and we don’t smoke, we just fly our flags and support our club, surely we’re entitled to do that.”

Mr Stirling added: “We believe we should have these flags. We’re in here, living here in our seventies. We’re here until we pass away effectively. Are you telling me can’t even fly a couple of flags?”.

The football fans have the support of their neighbours, with 77-year-old Elizabeth Smith saying the council response was a "complete overreaction".

The council said it discourages displaying football flags on council-owned property and that housing staff had tried to arrange a meeting with the men to discuss the issue, but that this offer was declined.

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