The Orkney flag is flying high in the heart of London’s Parliament Square this week.
The flags of 52 historic counties have been raised in a resplendent celebration of the nation’s heritage to mark the Historic County Flags Day today, Friday 23 July – and they will remain aloft until 27 July.
Council Convener Harvey Johnston said: “Great importance is placed on the history and traditions of this country, threads which help bind our communities together.
“Our history helps to define who we are and where we come from, and we are stronger as a nation when we cherish and champion our local traditions. Understanding the past and how we have developed helps us to face the future with confidence.
“The national centrepiece in London is undoubtedly an impressive sight and we are delighted to see Orkney’s flag among the 52 flags of Great Britain, which are currently registered by the Flag Institute, flying high.”
There are now 39 registered flags in England, 6 in Scotland and 7 in Wales; there are no registered or widely recognised flags for Northern Ireland and, therefore, the Union flag will fly at the head of the display so that all parts of the United Kingdom are represented.
The Orkney flag is a community flag proclaiming the unique identity of this historic county.
For many years Orkney used a flag with a red Scandinavian cross on gold, but The Lord Lyon, who controls flags in Scotland, turned down its registration as it was too similar to the arms of the Earls of Ulster. In 2007 the Council ran a competition to select a new flag and the St Magnus Cross design was approved.