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House of Commons, United Kingdom

Last modified: 2023-11-11 by rob raeside
Keywords: house of commons | united kingdom |
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House of Commons image by Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2023

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The House of Commons

The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster in London, England. The House of Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as members of Parliament (MPs). MPs are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved. It was
established in 1327.
Sources:  and
Esteban Rivera 4 October 2023

Flag use in the House of Commons

Tuesday 11 May 2021 saw the first flying of a new flag for the House of Commons. Graham Bartram (official website:, Chief Vexillologist of the Flag Institute, designed it at the request of the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

The flag consists of a gold parliamentary portcullis and coronet on a field of House of Commons green. The emblem is set slightly towards the hoist so it appears centrally when the flag is flying.

The flags will fly from left to right in precedence order ( Union Flag, House of Commons Flag, Union Flag (repeating the start of the sequence) - see photo.

When flying another national flag the order will be as follows: Union Flag, national flag, House of Commons flag.
Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2023

Portcullis logo

House of Commons image by Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2023


The portcullis was the heraldic badge of the House of Beaufort, and the first Tudor king, Henry VII, who was of matrilineal Beaufort descent, adapted both the portcullis and the Tudor rose into Royal badges of the House of Tudor. Since then, the portcullis has been a moderately common motif of English heraldry. Although the Palace of Westminster served as the official royal residence for both Henry VII and Henry VIII until 1530, the current use of the portcullis as a symbol of the palace and of Parliament does not date from that time. Rather, the symbol was developed as part of Sir Charles Barry's plans for the rebuilt palace after the original burned down on 16 October 1834; he conceptualized the new palace as a "legislative castle", and the symbol of a castle gate—i.e. a portcullis—fit well with the scheme. Since then, the portcullis has become the primary symbol of Parliament; an office building for Members of Parliament (MPs), opened in 2001, is named "Portcullis House".

It is often shown with chains attached, even when the blazon does not mention them.
Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2023