Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September has honoured the brave men and women who kept our ‘Island Nation’ afloat during both World Wars, and celebrated 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 is campaigning for the Red Ensign – the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag – to be flown on Sunday 3rd September on civic buildings and landmark flagpoles across the UK. Parish, community, town, city, district and borough councils are all invited to take part, along with higher-tier local authorities and governments.
There are many locations where the Red Ensign can be freely flown ashore – civic centres, town halls, public libraries, village greens, churches, sports venues, historic buildings, tourist attractions, ports, etc. All participating organisations will be added to a prestigious ‘Roll of Honour’ (see below) and promoted via social media.
Last year hundreds of local flag-hoisting ceremonies were organised, involving VIPs, civic dignitaries, Merchant Navy veterans, naval cadets, etc. At some locations a message of support from HRH The Earl of Wessex was read out ‘to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.’
At Holy Trinity Church Bolton le Sands we will be supporting the campaign by flying the Red Ensign from the church flag pole and also having a evening of sea songs and shanties on Sunday 3rd September starting at 7.30 in the church. Refreshments will be available. Entry is free. A collection for the RNLI and the Merchant Navy Fund will be taken.