Fluttering next to the Union Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the 50 registered historic county flags of England, Scotland and Wales are flying from today (23 July 2019) to 26 July.
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said:
Our history helps to define who we are and where we come from, and we are stronger as a nation when we cherish and champion our local traditions.
I am proud to see fifty iconic historic county flags of our great nation proudly flying in the heart of Westminster on this momentous day for the United Kingdom. I cannot think of a more important and fitting time to celebrate our shared cultural identity and all that binds our communities together.
Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist at the Flag Institute, said:
County flags have been an area of great progress over the last 15 years. Being able to display these flags together, as some other countries do, has long been an aspiration for the Flag Institute and we have been pleased to continue our years of support to DCLG and now MHCLG, in order to bring this about. This flag display really exemplifies the colour, depth and variety within the country.
Philip Tibbetts, Honorary Vexillologist at the Court of the Lord Lyon, said:
Scotland has a rich heritage of regional and local identity which can be seen in tartan, heraldry and increasingly with community flags. Shetland was at the forefront of the modern movement for community flags, being officially granted in 2005 but used for decades earlier, so it is good to see it displayed together with Scotland’s subsequent county flags.
The display in Parliament Square for Historic County Flags Day form part of national festivities taking place across the country.
It comes as government has published guidance which helps local authorities recognise historic counties as a way to boost community pride and provide opportunities for families to learn about local traditions. The guidance includes consideration of placing road signs to mark the boundaries of the historic counties, flying county flags whenever possible, designing flags for counties without one and celebrating county days.