On Tuesday 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 on the day. Members of the public are welcome to come to the ceremony, which will be attended by Councillor Gaynor Owen, Mayor of West Lancashire; Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council; Councillor Terry Devine, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, the Mayor’s Chaplain Reverend Pauline Bicknell, Councillors 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 affectionately known as “the Red Duster” to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.
HRH the Earl of Wessex has endorsed the campaign, saying: “On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign by Seafarers UK to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy. Too often they are the forgotten or invisible service. By raising the Red Ensign you will ensure that at least on this day they are remembered. Your act will mean so much to their families and to the retired, but most especially to those at sea.”
Cllr Owen said: “I am really pleased the Council has been given the opportunity to recognise the Merchant Navy by flying the Red Ensign. The people of the United Kingdom owe 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 almost 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.
Visit Merchant Navy Day (external link) for more details on Merchant Navy Day.