Red Ensign Raising – 29 August 2017

Taunton Deane Borough Council is showing its support for the Merchant Navy with a flag raising ceremony at The Deane House at 11:00 am on Friday (1 September 2017).

The Red Ensign will be raised by Deputy Mayor Councillor Catherine Herbert alongside representatives from the Merchant Navy Association, 40 Commando Royal Marines, 675 Rifles Squadron and the Army Air Corps.

The Deputy Mayor will give a short speech before a prayer by the Mayor’s Chaplain the Rev. David Manning which will be followed by two minutes’ silence during when the flag is raised.

The event is being held to mark Merchant Navy Day that has been celebrated on 3 September every year since 2000 to raise public awareness of the UK’s continuing dependence on seafarers and remember their sacrifices, salute their courage and support their future.

The work of the Merchant Service during World War One led King George V to decree in 1928 that they should be known as the ‘Merchant Navy’.

By the end of the Second World War more than 4,700 British ships had been sunk and more than 35,000 Merchant seamen had lost their lives.

Merchant Navy Day honours the brave men and women who kept Great Britain going during both World Wars and celebrates our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 95% of the UK's imports, including much of the food we eat, most of the fuel we burn and virtually all the products and goods we take for granted.

This year Seafarers UK campaigned for the Red Ensign - the UK Merchant Navy's official flag - to be flown on Sunday 3 September 2017 on civic buildings and landmark flagpoles across the UK.

Councillor Catherine Herbert, said: “I am delighted that Taunton Deane is able to take part in this national commemoration and show our support for the Merchant Navy.  By raising the Red Ensign, the Council is helping to ensure that the service of these brave seafarers will be remembered.”