|Friday, October 19, 2018
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Flying a flag from a car 

With the start of Euro 2016 it is obvious that football fans will want to support their country if they are watching at home i.e. Tenerife or whilst on holidays. The question is, and we have all seen this from time to time, can I legally fly a flag on or from my car whilst driving, well the short answer is yes but of course certain criteria apply in so much as they must not pose a danger to the driver or other road users.

We will for this article assume that you want to display an England Flag, the law does not state that it is illegal to display flag of a particular country or team, but you could face a fine if you are not in compliance with the regulations ruling this.

This is where it becomes a little strange, Article 14 of the Reglamento Circulacion deals with the distribution of loads, under the heading “Disposición de la carga”. A load is considered as anything that is an addition to the normal feature of a vehicle.

In effect then as a safety measure, anything carried on a vehicle must not drag fully or partially, fall or move dangerously, interfere with the vehicle stability, produce noise, dust or other problems that can be avoided and of course must not hide the lighting and turning signals, number plates or anything else which may interfere with manual warnings of the drivers. A flag when placed on the outside of a car will of cause drag, even if minimally when the vehicle is moving.

Many supporters will want to display large flags and these of course would cause a considerable drag, they may also interfere with one’s view, potentially lights, occasionally number plates or other fixtures, that are designed for driver safety. If a large flag is displayed there is the risk that they may dislodge and fall into the path of other road users or pedestrians, they may also become entangled with another vehicle, once again a safety hazard. Therefore, quite clearly, large flags are not allowed. However, there are smaller, purpose built flags which are permitted. These types of flags are of a permitted size for vehicles and are often sold in car accessory shops or outlets, in England in places like Halfords for example. There are of course all sorts of accessories that are permitted such as covers for wing mirrors displaying a flag, again provided they do not obscure the mirror. However a large flag draped across a bonnet is not permitted, nor is a flag draped over the sun visor.

There are as we would expect some exceptions to this rule and that is where a road is closed to normal traffic or an organised parade for example, during which time a larger flag is permitted as this is normally controlled by the police anyway.

It is therefore important to remember that should you chose to display a flag there are no “approved sizes” under this law but any signs of your patriotism must be small enough not to potentially pose a hazard. If you do not adhere to this law you can face a hefty fine.

For those of you that speak and/or read Spanish or want to practise or translate this law here is an extract from it.