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House of Lords, United Kingdom

Last modified: 2023-11-11 by rob raeside
Keywords: house of lords | united kingdom |
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The House of Lords

The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It shapes draft laws and checks and challenges the work of the government. One of the oldest institutions in the world, its origins lie in the early 11th century (as Parliament originates in the Witans an Anglo-Saxon political body made up of councils consulted by Saxon kings and attended by religious leaders, magnates and the king's ministers) and the emergence of bicameralism in the 13th century (where attendance includes representatives of counties, cities and boroughs). Membership of the Lords is not generally acquired by election. Most members are appointed for life, on either a political or non-political basis. Hereditary membership was abolished in 1999, save for 92 excepted hereditary peers: 90 elected through internal by-elections, plus the Earl Marshal and Lord Great Chamberlain as members ex officio. No members directly inherit their seats any longer. The House of Lords also includes up to 26 archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, known as Lords Spiritual. Since 2014, membership may be voluntarily relinquished or terminated upon expulsion.
Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2023

Flag use in the House of Lords

In a documentary about the House of Lords. Admiral Lord West, who is evidently a vexillologist, explained that he had persuaded the Parliamentary authorities to hoist the Union Flag there all the time and not just when Parliament was actually sitting. He continued that his next goal was to erect four more flagpoles, for the flags of England, Scotland and Wales; with the fourth unoccupied for the moment, there being no official flag for Northern Ireland. He hopes that the sight of this bare flagpole will encourage the N.I. politicians to agree on one. This interview however would have been filmed before the present political crisis.
Kenneth Fraser, 22 March 2017

While the symbol of Parliament does typically appear on crimson fields when used to represent the House of Lords, there is no report of the adoption of a flag, unlike the flag of the House of Commons, which was reported by the Flag Institute.
Tomislav Todorovic, 4 October 2023