Flags, national and other, have an ongoing cultural significance. The Union Flag, commonly known as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Flying of flags is not the subject of statute law in England, Wales or Scotland. Advice is issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on flying of flags on government buildings, apart from those which are the responsibility of a devolved administration. In Northern Ireland there is legislation on flag flying, which was recently updated due to the UK’s exit from the EU.

Ministerial directions are a potential part of the process of approving expenditure of public money. Use of ministerial directions is rare, but preparations for Brexit have included an instruction to Accounting Officers to include them in planning for approval of spending in advance of Royal Assent to relevant legislation.

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