On Merchant Navy Day, 3 September, West Lancashire Borough Council will fly the Red Ensign to raise awareness of the UK’s dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.
The Red Ensign flag will be hoisted on the flagstaff outside the Council Offices at 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, at 10am. The ceremony will be attended by the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Liz Savage; Council Leader Cllr Ian Moran; Armed Forces Champion Cllr Terry Devine; the Mayor’s Chaplain, Anne Kazich, and senior Council officers.
The Council is supporting a nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.
The charity’s president, HRH The Earl of Wessex, has endorsed the campaign, saying: ‘On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.’
The Deputy Mayor said: “I am delighted that this Council has been given the opportunity to recognise the Merchant Navy by flying the Red Ensign. The UK owes a debt of gratitude to the seafarers and the flag raising is an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to the work that they do.”
As an ‘island nation’ the UK relies on Merchant Navy seafarers for 95% of imports, including half the food we eat. The UK has the largest ports industry in Europe. 75% of our exports (by volume) are shipped from UK ports, some of which are supporting the campaign by encouraging visiting ships to sound their horns at 10am on 3 September. Visit Merchant Navy Day (external link).