Date Published: 03 September 2020
The British Merchant Navy’s iconic red flag has been raised outside Oakham Castle to mark Merchant Navy Day 2020.
Merchant Navy Day is celebrated throughout the UK on 3rd September each year – the day that marked the start of the Second World in 1939 and which saw the first British maritime casualty of the conflict.
Rutland is one of more than 1,000 local areas listed on a ‘Roll of Honour’ as proud participants in Merchant Navy Day and joined local councils around the UK in flying the Merchant Navy’s Red Ensign or "Red Duster". The flag will be flown outside Oakham Castle and many other locations for the next week.
“Merchant Navy Day honours the brave men and women who sacrificed so much to keep our ‘island nation’ afloat during both World Wars. The Merchant Navy is no less important today. Modern merchant seafarers are responsible for more than 90% of the UK’s imports, including almost half the food we eat. This year, we’ve had to accept that public gatherings aren’t an appropriate way to mark Merchant Navy Day. However, we can still proudly fly the Red Ensign to show our respect, support and gratitude.”
Councillor Ian Razzell, a Rutland County Council Armed Forces Champion and former Army Officer
Merchant Navy Day was first recognised on 3rd September 2000 and is supported by The Merchant Navy Fund, along with local authorities across the UK.
Rutland’s Merchant Navy flag was raised by Captain Robert Strick, following opening addresses by Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Sarah Furness, Council Chairman Edward Baines and Councillor Ian Razzell.
For more information about Merchant Navy Day please visit the national Seafarers UK website.