A Red Ensign was flown at a record 800+ locations ashore for Merchant Navy Day

September 14, 2018

Campaign to raise awareness of our island nation’s ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers results in the Red Ensign being flown ashore at more than 800 locations.

Parish councils from Arthuret to Zennor were among more than 800 locations where a Red Ensign was flown ashore on Merchant Navy Day, 3 September – see https://www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day/

Seafarers UK invited every parish, town, city and community council throughout the UK, plus larger local authorities including borough, district and county councils, to fly a Red Ensign on a civic building or public flagpole, to raise public awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.

Flag-hoisting ceremonies were held at many locations, with VIPs and councillors alongside Merchant Navy Association members, other veterans and Sea Cadets.

A message from HRH The Earl of Wessex was provided by Seafarers UK to be read out: ‘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.’

In Scotland, where Merchant Navy Day is on the Scottish Government’s official list of flag-flying days, a Red Ensign was flown at many Historic Environment Scotland properties, including Edinburgh Castle. Other landmark locations where a Red Ensign was flown included Dover Castle, high above the UK’s busiest ferry port.

Seafarers UK Fundraising & Communications Director Nigel Shattock said: ‘Seafarers UK’s Fly the Red Ensign campaign goes from strength to strength each year, and next year we hope to see over one thousand Red Ensigns being flown around the UK on official flag posts on Merchant Navy Day. The campaign’s increasing success just goes to show our nation’s ongoing connection to the sea, and the respect that people still have for the sacrifices of the past and the hard work of today by British Merchant Navy seafarers in keeping our island nation afloat.’


Bridlington Town Council Red Ensign hoisting ceremony

Fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day branding