The Red Ensign flag has been raised at Tendring District Council (TDC) offices in Clacton to mark Merchant Navy Day on Tuesday 3 September.
TDC’s Vice Chairman Jeff Bray paid tribute to Merchant Navy seafarers as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of the UK's ongoing dependence on the maritime register.
Before raising the Red Ensign, Cllr Bray read a message from the charity's president, HRH The Earl of Wessex, saying:
“On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope that you will support this campaign by Seafarers UK to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy.
“Too often they are the forgotten or invisible service, by raising the Red Ensign you will ensure that at least on this day they are remembered. Your act will mean so much to their families and to the retired, but most especially to those at sea.”
As an island nation the UK relies on Merchant Navy seafarers for 95 per cent of all imports, including half the food eaten in the country.
The Red Ensign, or ‘Red Duster’ as it is affectionately known, has been the recognised flag of the British Merchant Navy since 1854.