Published: 15:49, 18 January 2019
| Updated: 15:57, 18 January 2019
Two European flags were taken down within hours of being put up on Herne Bay Pier after locals voiced their outrage about it on Facebook.
They were raised after bosses at the seaside landmark received a complaint for having an Ulster Banner - which had been mistaken for the cross of St George - flying outside it.
Chairman of the pier trust Doreen Stone says a volunteer inadvertently hoisted the European flags when they were replacing the unionist standard.
Video courtesy of Jason Reilly
“There was absolutely nothing meant by it at all; there was no political statement being made about it,” she said.
“We weren’t taking a side on Brexit. We regularly change the flags. It just happened to go up.
“There was no meeting about it and the trustees hadn’t talked about it at all.”
After the flags were spotted by residents yesterday afternoon, they took to the Herne Bay Chatter group to voice their dismay.
Jason Reilly, from Tankerton, decided to travel to the seafront to see the flags while on his way to work. He told KentOnline that the sight of them “rattled” him.
The 33-year-old added: “It rattled a few people when it was posted on Herne Bay Chatter that the flag had been replaced with the European flag.
“It obviously had political intentions behind it.
“I think that's what disturbed a lot of people in the area because we see enough politics everyday - there are very few places to escape from it.”
City councillor Andrew Cook, who is also a member of the pier trust, believes the landmark should only have Union Jacks flying above it to avoid creating controversy in the future.
“It would have been better if we didn’t have a flag than have that one up,” he said.
“Most of the town is embracing Brexit, so it was probably a poke in the eye for some.
“We should consider flying Union Jacks all the time and if there’s a particular event, like St Patrick’s Day or St George’s Day, we’ll celebrate them.”