THE Union Flag will not be flying over Wem this month for Prince Andrew's birthday, but the town council say it is business as usual.

The flag is often flown over public buildings to signify a royal birthday, but in the wake of recent controversies surrounding the Prince, the government has advised that local councils do not need to follow the tradition.

This represents a u-turn after they had initially instructed councils to honour the crisis-hit Prince's birthday.

Wem Town Council confirmed it would not be flying the flag on February 19, but had no plans to do so anyway.

"It's not something we have ever done," said Penny O'Hagan, clerk of Wem Town Council.

"We only do it for the Queen's birthday and other specific flag days.

"So we won’t be flying it, but it's not for anything else going on."

Meanwhile a spokesman for Whitchurch Town Council said it had not reached a decision on whether to fly the Union Flag yet.