To celebrate the important place counties play in the nation’s cultural heritage Secretary of State Eric Pickles has asked that English county standards be flown alongside the Union Flag outside DCLG’s Eland House headquarters in Victoria.
Mr Pickles raised the first flag - for his adopted home county of Essex - in a ceremony also attended in September by celebrity astrologer and long-time English county campaigner Russell Grant.
Flags are being flown for a week at a time in alphabetical order or - in cases such as Cornwall and Yorkshire - to coincide with particular county days.
Eric Pickles said:
The Union Flag rightly has pride of place outside the department but I’m delighted it will now be flown alongside our traditional and ceremonial county flags.
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 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.
Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, Councillor Jim Harker said:
We are immensely proud that the Northamptonshire flag is being flown outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in London.
Our county lies at the very heart of England. From the main Roman highway of Watling Street, to the seat of numerous medieval parliaments at Northampton, to the decisive civil war battlefield of Naseby, to the home of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone, it is consistently playing a major role in shaping the national history.
We will continue to ensure that our rich heritage plays a part in guiding the way as we face up to the challenges of the 21st Century.
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.
The Northamptonshire flag has been kindly loaned by the Northamptonshire County Council at no charge.