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.
Chief Executive of Rutland County Council, Helen Briggs said:
We are very proud that the Rutland flag is being flown outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in London.
Rutland may be the smallest county in the country but has much to share and offer, not least the fantastic reservoir and nature reserve Rutland Water, an array of unspoilt villages and two attractive market towns packed with charm, history and culture.
Rich in history and full of character, Rutland offers a taste of traditional England. Undiscovered by many and treasured by a lucky few our proudly independent county has celebrated over a decade of independence.
To this day, Rutland remains 1 of the most charming, proud and attractive rural counties in England. We very much welcome this opportunity to raise Rutland’s profile and encourage people to come and visit to see what we have to offer.
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 Rutland 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