Royalists have complained that a tea rooms owner is breaking a sacred British tradition by flying the Queen's personal flag.

David Daly acquired a Royal Standard on eBay and hangs it above the Tea Cosy in Southover Street, Hanover, Brighton.

The quirky firm, with a menu modelled on high tea at the Ritz, is a shrine to all the royal family and celebrities including Julie Goodyear.

Mr Daly, 30, who runs the business with his partner James Green, 25, admits he has received several complaints about the Royal Standard.

But he is unrepentant, saying he only flies it when he is in residence.

He said: "It is like the House of Windsor here, there are more royals here than have ever been at Buckingham Palace at one time.

"Most of the customers love it."

The Royal Standard is flown at the Tea Cosy when the venue is open and Mr Daly is there. When the shop is closed, it is swapped for a Union Jack.

A woman complained about the Royal Standard and refused to cross the threshold.

Mr Daly said: "She was horrified. I did explain. I said: 'Look at all the royals that are in this building'."

Mr Daly acquired the flag for about £45 from a royal collector. He said: "I have never been able to get another one. It could have been an original. I don't know anyone else who's got one.

"I would like to think there are some people who haven't got the guts to fly it.

"People have said you can be arrested."

The Tea Cosy, which has a sign outside saying "Camp" advertising the old Camp coffee drink, is decorated with pinks and Chintz.

Customers are presented with a long list of etiquette, such as no mobile phones and no conversation "louder than two tones above the chink of a tea cup".

Mr Daly has been said to have thrown out customers for failing to adhere to his Victorian-style code.

Afterwards Mr Daly was invited on to TV and radio to give advice on manners. He has since published his own book of etiquette.

Anna King, from Hove, contacted the Argus about the Royal Standard. She wrote: "Your story back in August about the Tea Cosy in Brighton and their etiquette was so nice to read.

"However they are flying the Royal Standard. This is illegal and is only allowed if the Queen is in residence.

"I have spoken with lots of people and they have told me they will not go there because of this and I agree with them. I have asked the Tea Cosy to remove the Standard but had no reply.

"How can they have etiquette but fly the Queen's flag? This is causing much upset to people."

Leonora Brooks, secretary of Hove Royal British Legion, agreed. She said: "That is the flag of Buckingham Palace. Nobody else is allowed to use it."

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "It is not illegal. It is just not generally done."

Sussex Police said while it was not a criminal offence, the flyer should have the permission of the Queen.

The Tea Cosy has a new website at The Royal Standard represents the Sovereign and the United Kingdom.

The Royal Standard is flown when The Queen is in residence in one of the Royal Palaces, on The Queen's car on official journeys and on aircraft on the ground.

It may also be flown on any building, official or private but not ecclesiastical buildings, during a visit by The Queen, if the owner or proprietor so requests.

The Royal Standard is only flown when the Sovereign is present. If the Union Jack is flying above Buckingham Palace instead of the Standard, The Queen is not in residence.

When The Queen goes to Parliament, the Royal Standard flies from Victoria Tower.

Unlike the Union flag, the Royal Standard is never flown at half mast, even after the death of a monarch, as there is always a sovereign on the throne.

Do you think the Tea Cosy should continue flying the Royal Standard or should it be taken down? Tell us what you think below.