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Flags of the Historic Ridings of Yorkshire fly above DCLG's new home

The flags of the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire celebrating the important role they play in the nation’s cultural heritage.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

North Riding flag above the new DCLG headquarters

The flags of the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire will fly in the heart of government this weekend celebrating the important role they play in the nation’s cultural heritage.

Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, today raised the flag of the North Riding (22 August 2014) outside his department’s new headquarters in Westminster. The East Riding flag will be hoisted on Sunday (24 August).

England’s traditional counties date back over a thousand years of history, but many of them have been sidelined by Whitehall and municipal bureaucrats in recent decades, including the municipal restructuring by Edward Heath’s government in 1965 and 1972. By contrast, this government is championing local communities continuing to cherish and celebrate such traditional ties and community spirit.

Unlike most counties in Great Britain, which were divided anciently into hundreds, Yorkshire was divided first into 3 ridings.

Ministers have previously changed the law to make it easier to fly flags without a permit from the council – these new freedoms include flying the North and East Riding flags.

North Riding flag, picture courtesy Wiki Commons media

North Riding flag, picure courtesy Wiki commons

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:

As a proud Yorkshireman, I’m delighted to see my compatriots in the Ridings celebrating their local pride. These flags were designed by local people championing the rich history of the Ridings, which can be traced back to the Viking settlements of ninth century Britain.

We are stronger as a society when we celebrate the ties that bind us together. I want to send a strong signal - we should fly our flags with pride. Whatever one’s class, colour or creed, let’s have pride in Britain’s local and national identities.

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, said:

Our county system goes to the heart of our sense of identity. The East Riding of Yorkshire is an area of tremendous natural beauty, stretching from the Yorkshire Wolds through to the Holderness coast, via towns with fascinating histories such as Beverley and Bridlington.

People who live here are proud of where they come from, and optimistic about the future. I’m delighted that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will be flying East Riding’s White Rose flag over Westminster this weekend to celebrate our county.

A spokesman for the East Riding of Yorkshire Society said:

The East Riding of Yorkshire Society are humbled to see their flag, which represents the least known of the 3 Ridings flying in London in celebration of the third East Riding Day and the cultural heritage of the East Riding. This flag is now flown with pride by East Riding folk throughout their beloved Riding.

A spokesman for the Yorkshire Ridings Society said:

Having established Yorkshire Day 40 years ago, the Yorkshire Ridings Society are proud to see the Ridings now celebrated in the heart of our capital city by the flying of the North Riding flag from the headquarters of the DCLG. The flying of the North Riding flag on North Riding Day is especially poignant this year following the success of the initial stages of the Tour de France when the whole world looked on in awe at the North Riding’s wondrous landscape.

East Riding flag, picture courtesy Wiki Commons media

East Riding flag, picure courtesy Wiki commons

Further information

This is part of a series of steps to champion England’s national identities. Earlier this year, the department launched a new initiative to support the ‘tapestry’ of traditional English counties being displayed on street and road signs. The government also published a new online interactive map of England’s county boundaries.

Planning rules have been changed to allow for councils to put up boundary signs marking traditional English counties – including the likes of Cumberland, Huntingdonshire, Westmorland and Middlesex. The government has proposed changes to highways regulations to allow traditional county names to appear on boundary road signs.

The West Riding flag was flown in March to mark West Riding Day.

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Published 22 August 2014