Mansfield District Council marked Merchant Navy Day on Thursday September 3 by flying the Red Ensign at the Civic Centre to raise awareness of the UK’s on-going dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.
The Vicar of St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Mansfield, the Rev David Fudger, led a short service at the ceremony at 10am which culminated in Deputy Mayor Councillor Mick Barton raising the flag to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of the Merchant Navy.
Coun Barton said: “We might be a town that is about as far from the sea in the UK as it is possible to be, but we still greatly value the sacrifices Merchant Navy sailors have made, and the contribution they continue to make towards the security of this country, and we are proud to fly the Red Ensign as a mark of that respect on this day.”
A nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association was for the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagpoles.
The charity’s president, HRH the Earl of Wessex, has endorsed the campaign, saying: “On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.”
The UK relies on the Merchant Navy for 95 per cnet of its imports, including half the food we eat. The UK has the largest ports industry in Europe with 75% of the UK’s exports (by volume) shipped from the UK’s ports.