Hundreds of homes and businesses in several communities across the county were hit by the floods in November 2009. The 12 months since have been a time of rebuilding for Cumbria’s residents and a strong sense of community spirit has prevailed.
Counties such as Cumbria play an important part in the nation’s cultural heritage, and in recognition of this 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 earlier this year. Flags are being flown for a week at a time in alphabetical order, to coincide with particular county days, or in Cumbria’s case to mark significant calendar dates.
Eric Pickles said:
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. It is fitting that this week’s flag is Cumbria - whose communities showed such great resilience during last year’s devastating floods. This sense of pride people have in where they live and a 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.
Councillor Eddie Martin, Leader of Cumbria County Council, said:
Cumbria has forged a strong identity in its relatively brief 36-year history as a county. We’ve built a brand as a welcoming place of great beauty, where we have strong traditional values, a sense of pride in where we live, and are always willing to help one another out. Our strong sense of community has come to the fore in the last 12 months, when we have not only faced the worst floods on record, but have also seen the tragedy of the Derrick Bird shootings and the Keswick school bus crash. We are delighted that Cumbria’s flag will be flying outside the Department for Communities and Local Government on this significant anniversary.
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