A TAXI driver has been banned from displaying a Union Jack flag in his cab – because it is ‘not welcoming’.
Stratford District Council bosses ordered Greg Rojewski to remove a sticker showing the Union Jack and Polish flags intertwined after receiving a complaint.
The 44-year-old who was born in Poland has lived and worked in Stratford since 2004, put the sticker in his taxi three years ago.
He said it was intended to tell customers he was Polish and could therefore speak the language if passengers struggled with speaking English.
But the council ordered him to remove the sticker, saying that only ‘appropriate livery’ could be displayed.
Greg said: “It is crazy to ban me from displaying the flags. It’s discrimination.
“There is another taxi with a St George’s flag on the back window but I am the one who is told to remove my sticker.
“The sticker isn’t political, I had it made to help Polish customers who might not know how to speak English. I have found it is very useful. There are a lot of Polish people in Stratford and some of them don’t speak very good English.
“The sticker is also meant to show the lifelong friendship between Poland and this country. Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain.”
Greg moved from his home in Parczew in east Poland to find work in the UK and he says he considers Stratford his home.
The council defended the sticker ban and said Greg should have written to them for permission before displaying it in his taxi.
A spokeswoman said: “A complaint from another driver was raised for displaying the Polish flag on the rear of his vehicle.
“The council’s taxi policy prevents the display of any livery on licensed vehicles unless written approval has been obtained from the district council.
“The driver has not sought approval for his chosen livery and so has been asked to remove it.
“Any request for a display of symbols, written words, pictures or similar on a licensed vehicle is carefully considered with a view to ensuring that the display of such an item is appropriate and that the taxi fleet remain welcoming in appearance to all passengers who may wish to use their services, regardless of nationality.
“The district council has received no request for consideration so can only enforce the licence conditions which require any livery to be authorised in writing.”