For fans travelling to this summer's world cup hoping to take their flags into the stadium, the process may not be as straight-forward as you had wished. The local organising committee have published guidance on flags and banners, which are more stringent than at any previous tournament.
Applications must be made in advance for all games, according to the guidance:
"Supporters who wish to bring a big banner to the stadium or to organise a performance in support of their favorite team must fill out a special application form, with an attached colour photo of the banner or elements of the performance in the JPEG or JPG format, not less than 3000x5000 pixels and a 300 dpi resolution.
"The application can be filled in Russian or English, and then sent to the LOC at Fan_book@loc2018.com (flags and banners) or firstname.lastname@example.org (performance).
"All applications must be sent to the LOC at least 20 days before the match. When visiting the stadium, those who wish to perform or bring a banner must have a signed scan of the approved application, which will be sent to the fan following the results of its approval by the LOC within 14 days."
England fans heading out to Russia should also make themselves aware of our Fans' Guide to Russia 2018, produced in association with the England Supporters Travel Club. Those who've bought England match tickets through the FA should have received their free guide already, while if you don't have an official England ticket but are still planning on travelling you can obtain your copy of the guide for £2 (to cover postage/packing) from this link, where you can also find a free pdf download.
Thanks to Flickr user Jonathan for the image used in this blog, reproduced under Creative Commons licence