FILM producers have come under fire after flying swastikas outside Brighton City Airport just 24 hours before D-Day.

The Nazi flags were flying just metres away from a war memorial at the Shoreham airport on Thursday as final preparations were being made across the county and in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

But filmmakers of the Woman in Gold have defended the move, saying Thursday was the one possible opportunity they had to shoot the scene.

Adur District Councillor Emma Evans asked the filmmakers to remove the flags after residents had raised concerns and the last one came down on the morning of the D-Day anniversary.

The airport had been chosen because of its unique art deco design, which fitted with the period of the film .

The all-star cast of the film, which is being produced by BBC Films and the Weinstein Company, includes Dame Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Charles Dance and Henry Goodman. The movie will tell the true-life story of Jewish World War 2 survivor Maria Altmann, who fought the Austrian Government to retrieve several paintings by Gustav Klimt that were stolen from her family.

Coun Evans said: “A number of local residents contacted me on Thursday morning via Facebook and phone, regarding the Nazi flags being flown at the airport during filming of Woman in Gold.

“I met with the location manager for the film, David Brooder, who recognised the sensitivity of the timing being so close to the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

“The flags were removed last night, apart from one which was taken down first thing on Friday morning.”

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton said on Twitter: “Shoreham Airport will not look like this on D Day 70th anniversary tomorrow thanks to Cllr Emma Evans A BBC Film spokeswoman said: “We were only ever shooting for one day.

“Shoreham Airport is the only airport in keeping with the period of the film and yesterday we had one day of filming possible and shooting was completed yesterday.

“The flags were never going to be flying on D-Day itself.”