PORTSMOUTH could soon fly the Falklands flag all year round as a lasting tribute to all those who died to liberate the British territory 36 years ago.
Plans are afoot to install a new flagpole outside the Falklands memorial in Old Portsmouth to allow the islands’ symbol to fly above the entrance to the city’s harbour.
A second pole could also be installed which would allow both the Union and Falkland flags to fly side-by-side.
Portsmouth City Council is looking into the proposal, that already has the backing of city leaders.
Retired Royal Navy Petty Officer Barrie Jones, 58, has been one of those leading the charge for the permanent symbol.
The 58-year-old, of Laburnum Grove, Copnor, fought right the way through the Falklands War, and said he would be proud to see the islands’ flag flying next to the Union flag.
He said: ‘It’s a national memorial for those people that ultimately gave their lives for freedom. Rather than just having a flag hoisted and flying one day a year, there will be one there all year round.
‘I’m not expecting this to happen overnight or to get an immediate “yes”. Of course there are quite a few issues that people might have with it – like costs or if it is necessary.
‘But I would be very, very proud to see the flag there permanently.’
It’s hoped the new memorial could be installed before April 2 next year – the 37th anniversary of the start of the war.
Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson was eager to support the scheme, as is Tory boss Councillor Donna Jones.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson, who met with Mr Jones to discuss the idea, said the courage of all those who fought and died to liberate the Falklands had to be remembered.
He said: ‘The task force was launched here and returned to Portsmouth, and there's the memorial to all the people who lost their lives and we need to remember and recognise that sacrifice in the same way that we remember and recognise the sacrifice of those in the First World War and the Second World War.'
The conflict claimed the lives of 255 British military personnel, as well as three Falkland islanders and at least 649 Argentine military personnel. Argentine forces surrendered on June 14, 1982.