Date Published: 29 August 2017
The British Merchant Navy’s iconic red flag will be flown outside Rutland County Council’s offices in Oakham on Sunday 3rd September in order to mark Merchant Navy Day 2017.
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, the sinking of the merchant vessel SS Athenia.
As a result, 3rd September has come to be recognised as ‘Merchant Navy Day’, honouring the men and women who kept Britain afloat during both World Wars, along with those who continue to face the routine perils of long voyages and stormy seas.
The Red Ensign or ‘Red Duster’, as it is also know, has been the recognised flag of the British Merchant Navy since 1854 and will be raised outside Catmose at 11.00am Sunday as the Council shows its support for Merchant Navy Day.
“Merchant Navy Day is an opportunity to show support for the brave seafarers on whom the UK depends. While we owe a historic debt of gratitude to the Merchant Navy for their efforts in both World Wars, our dependence on this group of men and women has actually increased in recent years, with more than 90% of our imports, including half of the food we eat, carried by ship. Rutland may not be a coastal area but, as an island nation, we should all be thankful to the Merchant Navy and pause to reflect on the vital job they do.”
Councillor Richard Foster, Armed Forces Champion
Merchant Navy Day was first recognised on 3rd September 2000 and is supported by local authorities across the UK.
For more information about Merchant Navy Day and how to show your support, please visit the Merchant Navy Day website.