Guardian of St George

Rochdale Borough Council found itself bombarded by news and media outlets after the Middleton Guardian reported on its attempted ban on taxis flying the St George’s flag in the run-up to Euro 2004.

The council claimed that flaunting the England colours was tantamount to commercial advertising and breached taxi regulations.

Guardian chief reporter Dave Edwards splashed on the story and the council was contacted by radio, television and national newspapers all following it up.

When the council was contacted by GMTV to do a live link from Middleton, it decided to lift the ban. A statement from Rochdale Council said: “We appreciate the enthusiasm of drivers to show support for England during Euro 2004, which the council fully shares.

Accordingly, we do not propose to enforce the condition during the tournament.”

Edwards said: “This was a marvellous result and because of all this publicity, residents, shops and cars in general seem to be flying their flags even more than before.”

The morning after the ban was lifted around 20 cabs joined in a victory parade with their flags flying.

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