Why this flag is being flown outside Portsmouth's civic offices today
The flag of an ancient kingdom will be flown outside the civic offices in Portsmouth today.
The gesture on May 25, which is known as Wessex Day, is a nod to the region’s patron saint, St Aldhelm. To mark the occasion the council will fly the flag of Wessex - featuring a golden dragon.
Nick Xylas, secretary of the Wessex Society, said: ‘We have been campaigning since 1999 to get official recognition for the flag of Wessex, and of St Aldhelm as the patron saint of the region.
‘The government’s decision in 2013 to grant blanket planning permission to fly the flag, and to recognise St Aldhelm’s Day, May 25, as Wessex Day was a major victory for us.
‘To see local authorities such as Portsmouth City Council flying the flag cements Wessex’s status as something real and tangible, rather than just a name found in history books and Thomas Hardy novels.’
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson ‘I am very happy that the council will fly the Wessex flag. It is a part of our heritage in Hampshire that should be recognised.’
Wessex was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom that at its height spanned from what is now known as Kent to Cornwall and up to Wiltshire, and included modern Hampshire. It became unified with the rest of England in 1066.
The civic offices in Guildhall Square fly flags throughout the year, some of which are permanent fixtures and some that celebrate different national days.