Firm helps fly the flag at pageant

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THE Queen’s Jubilee is proving to be a bumper time for Waterlooville-based Hampshire Flag Company.

Not only is it producing near-record levels of bunting, but the firm has been commissioned to produce flags for one of the boats taking part in Sunday’s Jubilee Pageant on the river Thames.

Scottish-based rowing boat Moray Gig is one of 1,000 vessels which will sail down the river and will be flying specially-produced flags – the Moray Flag and a Red Ensign – made by the Hampshire Flag Company.

A crew of 14 from Moray, in North East Scotland, will be representing the Lieutenancy of Moray as they row the 38ft traditional sail training vessel, one of a fleet of 200 rowed or paddled craft that will precede the Royal Barge.

Hampshire Flag Company’s managing director Graham Wilkinson said: ‘It’s great that our flags will be taking part in such a high profile and prestigious event and this is just one of the many fascinating Jubilee orders we’ve received in the past month or so.

‘A lot of people are buying bunting for the Jubilee and leaving it up for other events going on, such as the Olympic torch relay. And a lot of people are buying Union flags now, too.’

The Hampshire Flag Company is used to seeing its products in prestigious places. Most recently it donated a selection of flags to an expedition to the South Pole, which has raised more than £15,000 for charity.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant will feature one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river and will comprise rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all sizes dressed with streamers and Union flags.

The Moray crew will have to row nearly 14 miles down the Thames, testing their rowing skills and fitness.

Neil Sutherland, vice chairman of the Moray Gig training organisation, said: ‘We are delighted with the flags and look forward to flying them during this once-in-a-lifetime event.’

The Moray Flag was presented by the Convener of The Moray Council, George McIntyre, and the Red Ensign was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Grenville Johnston.