To celebrate the important place counties play in the nation’s cultural heritage Secretary of State Eric Pickles has asked that English county standards be flown alongside the Union Flag outside DCLG’s Eland House headquarters in Victoria.
Mr Pickles raised the first flag - for his adopted home county of Essex - in a ceremony also attended last month by celebrity astrologer and long-time English county campaigner Russell Grant.
Flags are being flown for a week at a time in alphabetical order or - in cases such as Cornwall and Yorkshire - to coincide with particular county days.
Eric Pickles said:
The Union Flag rightly has pride of place outside the department but I’m delighted it will now be flown alongside our traditional and ceremonial county flags.
English counties continue to form an important part of our cultural and local identity in this country and many people remain deeply attached to their home county - both the traditional ‘cricket’ counties and in some cases their more modern administrative successors. This sense of pride and shared identity is 1 of the things that binds communities together and it’s right that the government department responsible for communities and local government should be actively recognising the important role they play.
Viscount Ashbrook, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire said:
I am delighted that the ceremonial flag of Cheshire is being flown by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Although the area is now covered by the Unitary Councils of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington, there is a strong affinity across the area with the historic county and all that it stands for.
The department is obliged to fly the European Union flag during Europe Week (week beginning 9 May) under Article 7(2) of EC Regulation 1828/2006.
Photographs of the county flags will be added to the DCLG Flickr channel