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Number plate background colour for flag

in Motoring
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smjxm09smjxm09 Forumite
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I need to buy a new set of number plates and am looking for a definitive answer.  On UK legal number plates a national flag can be included on the left had side.  If people want to travel to a EU nation the EU symbol on a blue background needs to be used otherwise a GB stick has to be attached to the car.  I don't intend any foreign travel and want a red background  against the UK flag. 
I have had a look at the government number plate regulations and apart from specifying blue for the EU flag it makes no mention about the 4 nations or the UK flag.
As I don't want to risk a MOT failure am I right in thinking this unconventional background colour is allowed?

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  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    https://www.gov.uk/displaying-number-plates/flags-symbols-and-identifiers

    You're right, it doesn't appear to be specified - certainly not in amendments to the main 2001 regulations. The change allowing them came in 2017, presumably via an SI, but I can't easily find it. Maybe it never actually got as far as legislation...

    As a generality, it's very simple. If it isn't explicitly allowed on a plate, it's illegal, and renders the plate illegal.

    The national flag and three of the four regional flags are explicitly allowed. The national vehicle identifier, the initials of the country, and shortened versions of three of the four main regional names are explicitly allowed. The blue strip is the only background colour allowed on a rear plate other than yellow, on a front plate other than white. If the flag does not fill the strip, it can be against the background or against blue - but no other colour is allowed.

    Even against the blue may be questionable, as the blue strip is only there as an EU-defined unit with the EU stars and member-state identifier, replacing the UN-defined oval national identifier. Only the internationally-defined unit carries any purpose at all, and even then only within the EEA.

    Perhaps more relevantly, why would you want it to be against red on the plate...?
    Can't you just stick whatever sticker you want on the car itself...?
  • unforeseenunforeseen Forumite
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    My interpretation is that if no colour is specified then it is the normal colour of the number plate. I.E. white on the front and yellow on the back. Other wise it is a modification that is not allowed. 
  • Car_54Car_54 Forumite
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    According to the gov.uk website, the flag must be placed above the national identifier (GB, UK, etc). That doesn't leave much space for a background of any colour unless it's a very small flag.
  • edited 25 May 2020 at 10:51AM
    smjxm09smjxm09 Forumite
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    edited 25 May 2020 at 10:51AM
    It does actually and the UK flag is only ever small.  This is it on a red background




  • unforeseenunforeseen Forumite
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    smjxm09 said:
    It does actually and the UK flag is only ever small.  This is it on a red background




    Those are display plates as they do not have the standard font. 
    I am sure that the only way to get a red background Is to use display plates rather than correctly made and legal plates
  • Car_54Car_54 Forumite
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    smjxm09 said:
    It does actually and the UK flag is only ever small.  This is it on a red background
    That would certainly get attention - which presumably is the object of the exercise - including that of the police. They, or ultimately the courts, will tell you definitively if is permitted. Is it really worth the hassle? Is the lockdown relly so boring?

  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    Well, that certainly reintroduces the question I asked...

    Why on earth would you want to?
  • smjxm09 said:
    I need to buy a new set of number plates and am looking for a definitive answer.  On UK legal number plates a national flag can be included on the left had side.  If people want to travel to a EU nation the EU symbol on a blue background needs to be used otherwise a GB stick has to be attached to the car.  I don't intend any foreign travel and want a red background  against the UK flag. 
    I have had a look at the government number plate regulations and apart from specifying blue for the EU flag it makes no mention about the 4 nations or the UK flag.
    As I don't want to risk a MOT failure am I right in thinking this unconventional background colour is allowed?

    Wait, can you still get an EU flag? I really wanted one but it wasn't an option when I asked at Halfords in January.

    I suppose if you got one you would need the stupid sticker come January anyway, not that queuing for hours to cross the channel sounds like much fun.
  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    Wait, can you still get an EU flag? I really wanted one but it wasn't an option when I asked at Halfords in January.
    Clue: Halfrauds are not the only plate supplier.

    In January, the UK was still an EU member.
    Until the end of December, the UK is still subject to all EU rules, and the blue strip suffices in place of a discrete nationality identifier.
  • smjxm09smjxm09 Forumite
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    Thanks for everyone’s comments
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