The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) wishes to advise that Mr Courtney Hume is not employed to the OPM either in Kingston or in Montego Bay. In that regard, Mr Hume, does not have any authority to give instructions on behalf of the OPM.
The OPM had no knowledge of or any part in the arrangements for the civic ceremony in Montego Bay for the swearing of the Mayor and councillors.
Attempts to implicate the OPM in the controversial removal of the colour green from the backdrop are unfortunate.
The OPM, through The Protocol Department and Chancery, has responsibility for the National Symbols of Jamaica, which includes the National Flag of Jamaica. The national flag is a symbol of the nation and must always be treated with dignity and respect and must never be used inappropriately.
In light of the recent controversy, the OPM is reissuing guidelines for the use for the National Flag of Jamaica.
From the Protocol Department and Chancery, OPM
Chapter 18 – Use of the National and Other Flags
1. Flying and Other Use of the National Flag
1.1 The following guidance should be observed in the flying or other use of the National Flag:
· The national flag takes precedence over all other flags on Jamaican soil, including flags of other sovereign nations, except that the personal standards of members of the Royal Family and of the Governor-General are always given precedence over the national flag.
· The national flag is a symbol of the nation and must always be treated with dignity and respect.
· The national flag should never be smaller than any other flag flown at the same location. When the national flag is flown with other national flags, each flag should have the same width and be flown at the same height. If any of the flags is square, or nearly square, it may have a slightly larger width (up to 125%) so that its overall area is similar to the other flags. The Jamaican national flag should be hoisted first and lowered last.
· The national flag should never be flown above another national flag on the same staff (this would suggest superiority, or conversely, inferiority of one flag, or nation, over another).
· The national flag should not be displayed in a position inferior to any other flag.
· No other flag should be placed above or to the left of the national flag, (as viewed by an observer).
· In a parade of flags, as the host country, the Jamaican flag enters last. All other flags are placed in alphabetic order.
· Except at foreign diplomatic and consular missions and at offices of intergovernmental organizations, no foreign flag may be flown publicly in Jamaica unless the Jamaican national flag is flown at the same time.
· During the hoisting and lowering of the national flag, or when the national flag is passing in parade or in review, all persons present should face the flag and stand to attention. Persons in uniform should salute and men not in uniform should remove their hats.
· The national flag should be flown at the official residence of the Governor-General (together with the flag of the Governor-General when in residence)
· The national flag should be flown at the official residence of the Prime Minister (together with the flag of the Prime Minister when he is in residence)
· The national flag, in the form of a car pennant, should be flown on the cars of the Governor-General and the Prime Minister when they are present.
· The national flag should not be draped over a vehicle, except on military, police and state occasions.
· In state/official funerals, the coffin is draped with a 12×6 Jamaican flag
· The national flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
· The national flag should normally be flown at all government and municipal offices and establishments, on or near the main administrative building, between 8am and sundown only but may be flown for twenty-four hours if illuminated in darkness.
· The national flag should be flown on all government-owned ships, defence craft and lighthouses. A representation of the national flag should be displayed on all government-owned aircraft, rail and motor vehicles
· The national flag should be flown on all merchant ships, boats and other vessels of Jamaican registry. All foreign registered vessels entering Jamaican territorial waters must fly the Jamaican national flag in the customary courtesy position (normally in the rigging on the starboard side of a mast)
· The national flag should be flown on or near Polling Stations on the day of Elections.
· The national flag may be flown on government-aided schools when in session.
· The national flag may be flown on private buildings on all national and state occasions and must be flown on the occasion of official visits by the Governor-General and the Prime Minister
· On occasions of official morning declared by the Office of the Prime Minister, the national flag is flown at half-mast for the period specified. The half-mast position is the mid-point of the visible flag pole.
· The national flag should not be flown in inclement weather.
· The national flag should not be allowed to touch the ground.
· The national flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
· The national flag should never be fastened, flown, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit the flag to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
· A torn, faded or otherwise damaged flag should be removed and replaced with a new flag. The damaged flag should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning privately.
· The national flag should not be flown or otherwise used purely decorative purposes on anything that is for temporary use and is likely to be discarded, except on state occasions.
· The national flag should not be draped over the body, other than at competitive events where it has become customary for competition winners to drape their national flag over their shoulders when completing a lap of victory or at a photo-call. In these exceptional circumstances, every effort must be made to preserve the dignity of the national flag, not least by ensuring that it does not touch the ground and is properly handled before and after the event. Ideally, the flag should be draped with the hoist of the flag to the right or over the right shoulder.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM