A CONTROVERSIAL flag, first put on top of a town's beauty spot as a tribute to the murdered soldier Lee Rigby which recently had ‘White Lives Matter’ sprayed across it, has been taken down. 

The flag, which has been on Eston Nab since 2013, was removed by a member of the public on Thursday, July 23, evening.

During the renewal of the Black Lives Matter movement, around a month ago, counter-protest slogan ‘White Lives Matter’ was graffitied on the England flag. 

The England flag was placed on the council-owned site to honour Lee Rigby in 2013, but was taken down by the council four times before eventually being left following protests.

This is because Eston Nab was classed as an ancient monument so putting up the flag without permission was a criminal offence.

Redcar & Cleveland council leader Mary Lanigan, said: "Eston Nab is for everyone to enjoy so we’re pleased that the flag has been removed voluntarily and we will continue to explore a long term solution to what has been a recurring issue.

"This council very firmly and proudly supports equality and fairness and we have long established policies in place to promote equal opportunity."

A spokesperson from political commentary group Tees Valley Monitor, which called on the council to take down the flag, said: "We are pleased that this offensive symbol has been removed, even though the task was not carried out by Redcar and Cleveland Council. 

"We hope that the council will now take adequate steps to ensure that Eston Nab will not be defaced in this way in future."