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.
Councillor Martin Suthers, the Deputy Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said:
The Department for Communities and Local Government have bestowed a great honour on Nottinghamshire by flying our county’s flag. Nottinghamshire has a great and famous history and is known throughout the world as the Robin Hood county.
The people of Nottinghamshire are proud of their cultural heritage and it is delightful to see the historical importance of this county being recognised nationally.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir Andrew Buchanan, Bt, KCVO, said:
I’m pleased and proud that our flag will be flown by the Department of Communities. Nottinghamshire’s heritage is a proud one, from coal mining and textile to modern high street names, the county has been at the forefront of industry.
In addition, Nottinghamshire is home to a thriving tourist industry because of its important place in history, its wonderful countryside and its many country parks which, of course, include the legendary Sherwood Forest.
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 Nottinghamshire flag has been kindly loaned by the Association of British Counties at no charge.
Photographs of the county flags will be added to the DCLG Flickr channel