Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, raised the flag of Lincolnshire today (1 October 2014) outside the Department for Communities and Local Government headquarters in Westminster, London to celebrate the important role counties play in the nation’s cultural heritage.
The government is championing local communities continuing to cherish and celebrate such traditional ties and community spirit. 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 Lincolnshire flag.
The flag was hoisted on Lincolnshire Day, which is celebrated on 1 October every year and marks the Lincolnshire rising, a revolt by Catholics against the establishment of the Church of England in 1536.
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s home county is also home to the Red Arrows RAF display team and an original copy of the Magna Carta dating back to 1215. Other notable people who hail from Lincolnshire include the scientist Sir Isaac Newton and Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said:
I’m delighted for Her Majesty’s Government to recognise and celebrate Lincolnshire by flying its flag in Whitehall. 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 one of the things that binds communities together.
Lincolnshire County Council Leader Councillor Martin Hill said:
Lincolnshire has much to be proud of and our flag celebrates the diversity of our culture and geography. Events like Lincolnshire Day give us the chance to reflect on and celebrate our area’s uniqueness, while recognising how our individuality weaves into the fabric of the nation.
It’s about honouring our local roots, our traditions and our culture, while marking what makes us great today. Our local flag symbolises all of this and we fly it with pride – I’m delighted that London will be celebrating with us.
This is part of a series of steps to champion England’s local and 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 also proposed changes to highways regulations to allow traditional county names to appear on boundary road signs.
The government has previously changed Whitehall rules to allow local and county flags to be flown without planning permission, and supported the Flag Institute in encouraging a new wave of county and community flags to be designed and flown by local communities.
Lincolnshire flag picture from Wikimedia Commons.