St Piran’s Day is named after Cornwall’s patron saint of tin miners and is celebrated far and wide on 5 March each year.
The day first started being observed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and has become increasingly popular since the 1950s. In recent years celebrations and parades marking the day have been held in communities throughout Cornwall.
Cornwall has a proud heritage and distinct Celtic identity and language. It has a strong industrial mining past and a fishing industry still based in many of its ports and harbours.
To help mark the day in London, the black and white flag of Cornwall was raised high outside the offices by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles who was joined by Cornwall MP Stephen Gilbert and Communities Minister Stephen Williams.
County days, flags and historic counties are an important part of English history with many dating back thousands of years and the government is keen that people are encouraged to mark these strong traditions.
People should take pride in their local identities and continue to champion them irrespective of current tiers of local administration.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
I’m delighted we are able to recognise Cornwall’s day and fly this historic flag in the heart of the capital.
Working with the independent Flag Institute, the government is encouraging more local communities to create their own local flags.
The government has already relaxed the rules relating to the flying of flags to make it easier for a wider range of flags to be flown without the need for express consent which could cost up to £335. The changes will increase the number of flags people can fly, helping promote integration and community spirit.