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Flag hoisting to thank seafarers on Merchant Navy Day

Press Release   •   Aug 19, 2015 12:01 BST

Civic leaders in Bury will fly the Red Ensign on Merchant Navy Day (3 Sep) to raise awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.

The Mayor of Bury, Councillor Stella Smith, will raise the flag at Knowsley Place (opposite Bury Town Hall), accompanied by Cllr Mike Connolly, leader of the council, and Mike Owen, the council’s chief executive.

Bury is supporting a nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs.

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.”

As an ‘island nation’ the UK relies on Merchant Navy seafarers for 95% of our imports, including half of the food we eat. The UK has the largest ports industry in Europe: 75% of our exports (by volume) are shipped from UK ports, some of which are supporting the campaign by encouraging visiting ships to sound their horns on 3 September.

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Press release issued: 19 August 2015.

Note to editors:

More than 400 local authorities throughout the UK have been invited by Seafarers UK and the Merchant Navy Association to participate in ‘Fly the Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day’.

Merchant Navy Day has been commemorated since 2000 on 3 September, the anniversary of the sinking of the SS Athenia, the first British merchant vessel lost during the Second World War.

Seafarers UK is a leading grant-making charity that helps people in the maritime community, by providing vital funding to support seafarers in need and their families. Donations to the charity’s Merchant Navy Fund can be made at

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