West Riding Day is celebrated on 29 March, the anniversary of the Battle of Towton which was fought during the English Wars of the Roses in 1461.
The battle took place in the village of Towton in Yorkshire and the victor, the Duke of York became King Edward IV after displacing King Henry VI.
The day was selected after a public vote to celebrate the proud heritage of the area.
To recognise the day in London, the white and red flag was raised high outside the offices of the Department for Communities and Local Government.
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 our historic county’s and as a proud Yorkshireman from the West Riding, I’m particularly pleased to celebrate West Riding Day and fly the flag in the heart of the capital.
Andy Strangeway, one of the founders of The Yorkshire Boundary Society said:
We are delighted that the West Riding flag flies from Whitehall on West Riding day in memory of the Battle of Towton. The West Riding is the industrial and commercial heartland of Yorkshire. The largest of the 3 Ridings, it connects the River Humber in the east to the Pennies in the west, where its’ boundary is only 7 miles from the Irish sea.
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.
Image above by Michael Faul used under Creative Commons.