When do flags have to return to half mast? Schedule and timings, why were flags at full mast this weekend?

King Charles III has been proclaimed as the next monarch

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Flags across the country will retun to flying at half-mast as a sign of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen died at the age of 9 at Balmoral Castle on Thursday (8 September).

Her son Charles has been proclaimed the next monarch after the Accession Council yesterday (10 September).

King Charles III addressed the nation in a pre-recorded statement on Friday (9 September) evening.

But how should you fly flags this weekend?

Here is all you need to know:

Why have flags returned to full-mast this weekend?

The new King was formally proclaimed monarch at a historic Accession Council in the State Apartments of St James’s Palace at 10am yesterday.

A Principal Proclamation was read in public for the first time by the Garter King of Arms in the open air from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s an hour later at 11am.

It will be followed by a flurry of Proclamations around the country, with the second one at City of London at the Royal Exchange at midday on Saturday.

Further Proclamations will be made 24 hours later in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at midday on Sunday (11 September).

In recognition of the new Sovereign, union flags will be flown at full-mast from the time of the Principal Proclamation at St James’s Palace until one hour after the Proclamations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, after which flags will return to half-mast in mourning for the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

A British flag. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali - WPA Pool/Getty Images)A British flag. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
A British flag. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

How long should the flag be flown at full-mast?

The Government advise says: “The Union Flag and all other official flags should be raised to full mast between the hours of 9am and 10.30am and remain at full mast until 1pm the following day, at which time the Union and official flags should return to being flown at half mast.”

Why are flags being flown at half-mast?

Flags are flown at half-mast as a sign of respect and mourning.

The Union flag’s are being flown this way due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

What does half-mast mean?

Half-mast means the flag is flown a third of the way down the flagpole from the top, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole.

How long should flags be flown at half-mast?

Aside from the 24 hour period after the King is proclaimed the next monarch, flags should be flown at half-mast during the period of mourning.

This will last until the Queen’s funeral.

A date for the funeral has not yet been announced.

Can you fly any other flags aside from Union one this weekend?

The official advice states: “Any non-official flags flying or due to be flown, such as the Rainbow Flag or the Armed Forces Day Flag, should be taken down and replaced with a Union Flag at half-mast.

“Other official flags scheduled to be flown can be flown as normal, but at half-mast.”