The England team - and some of the fans - have arrived in Russia ahead of their opening game of the World Cup.

England take on Tunisia in Volgograd for the Group G opener and then they will face Panama before a final group game against highly-rated Belgium.

And although the country has not been swept along with false hopes of bringing home the trophy, excitement is starting to build.

With that excitement comes public displays of patriotic passion which will see homes and cars decorated in England colours over the coming days.

But what is the law on doing so?

The government recently made changes to legislation which widen the types of flags you may fly in England.

Have you decorated your home or street in England colours?

The World Cup is upon us.

And although England are far from favourites, that has not stopped the fans from getting behind Gareth Southgate and his young team.

How are you showing your support?

Is your street decorated in red, white and blue?

If so send your pictures or details to editorial@examiner.co.uk or tweet us @Examiner or go to our Facebook page

Flags which do not need consent

The recent changes allow a wider range of national, sub-national, community and international flags.

The full list of flags that do not require consent are:

(a) Any country’s national flag, civil ensign or civil air ensign;

(b) The flag of the Commonwealth, the European Union, the United Nations or any other international organisation of which the United Kingdom is a member;

(c) A flag of any island, county, district, borough, burgh, parish, city, town or village within the United Kingdom;

(d) The flag of the Black Country, East Anglia, Wessex, any Part of Lincolnshire, any Riding of Yorkshire or any historic county within the United Kingdom; (e) The flag of Saint David;

(f) The flag of Saint Patrick;

(g) The flag of any administrative area within any country outside the United Kingdom;

(h) Any flag of Her Majesty’s forces;

(i) The Armed Forces Day flag.

The flags of St George and St Andrew are recognised as the national flags of England and Scotland, but the flags of St David and St Patrick are listed separately as they do not necessarily fall into the category of a country’s national flag.

Why were the changes made?

The changes were made amid calls for common sense.

It came after a number of cases in 2010, during the World Cup in South Africa, where councils asked for flags to be taken down on health and safety grounds.

Before the changes, it was illegal to fly a national flag without permission from a local council - unless flown from a vertical flagpole.

A Peterborough family fell foul of the regulations during the World Cup when they were threatened with prosecution for flying the cross of St George outside their home.

But a compromise was reached when the city council said the flags could be flown but only on special occasions.

The council had claimed that a single vertical pole would have been fine but because two St George flags were flown at an angle to the house they were classed as advertising.

What about flying flags on cars?

The issues to consider about driving with flags attached to the car are,

  • Vision - does the flag obscure the driver or any others drivers vision of the road?
  • Could it be classed as an insecure load, i.e. likely to come off and cause damage/injury?
  • The size of the flag - a normal flag (usually about the size of A4 paper) would not normally cause any problems but obviously the larger the flag the more potential for problems.
  • There is an offence of having a mascot/emblem on the car that, if the vehicle were to collide with someone, the mascot would strike them and cause injury. If the mascot is not likely to cause injury to a person by reason that it may bend, retract or detach itself from the vehicle then no offence would be committed.

So, although there is not a specific offence, you could commit an offence by having a flag on your car. It is the officer's discretion whether or not to take matters further if he/she feels that an offence has been committed.

What do MPs say?

England fans have been urged to fly the flag with pride at the 2018 Fifa World Cup - despite claims that it could be seen as “imperialistic” and “antagonistic”.

Mark Roberts, the Deputy Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, has warned fans not to take flags to Russia for the tournament, saying: “It can come across as imperialistic and cause antagonism.”

But the claim was met with ridicule by Black Country MP John Spellar (Lab Warley), who said: "It may be that there are problems with organised Russian groups targeting foreign fans and our police should be liaising with their Russian counterparts to deal with that.

"To come out with a load of sociological gobbledygook makes one wonder what on earth the Top Brass in the police are thinking.

"I bet this doesn’t reflect the view of the public in South Yorkshire and it certainly isn’t the view in the West Midlands."

The Foreign Office has warned that Black and Asian England fans need to "make their own decision" about whether it's safe to travel to Russia for the World Cup.

Foreign Office Minister Harriet Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, told MPs: "We spell out in our advice the range of different issues. We recommend that people read it closely and make their own decision about whether they want to travel in person to the matches.

"At the end of the day, whether to go to the matches is each individual person’s decision."