The flag representing the historic county of Cornwall has been hoisted above the department's offices.
The flag is being flown at this time to coincide with St Piran’s Day, the patron saint of Cornwall, on 5 March.
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 the department’s Eland House headquarters in Victoria.
Mr Pickles raised the first flag - for his adopted home county of Essex - in a ceremony also attended in September 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.
England’s 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. 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.
The Leader of Cornwall Council, Alec Robertson said:
Cornwall is proud of its history. The natural landscape and our distinct Celtic language and culture have shaped the Cornwall of today. Our industrial mining past, when Cornwall was at the cutting edge of technological innovation, has left a world-wide legacy and Cornish diasporas in many countries for whom Cornwall is still home. Occupying a central position in the Atlantic Arc, our maritime inheritance is still strong and our ports and harbours still house a fishing industry. In more recent times, Cornwall has become known for its visual and creative arts, of which we are justly proud.
The ancient flag of St Piran, Cornwall’s patron saint, is an enduring symbol of this unique region. I am delighted that our proud flag is flying outside DCLG on St Piran’s Day. It is a day that more and more people within the Cornish diaspora are celebrating, and it is appropriate that DCLG, as the government department sponsoring the development of the Cornish language, is celebrating the day too.
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.
The Cornish flag has been kindly loaned by the Association of British Counties at no charge.
Photographs of the county flags will be added to the DCLG Flickr channel