The flag flying from the County Hall Museum today (May 9) is the European flag, which was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1955 and which is flown on ‘Europe Day’ each year on May 9 to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. The Council of Europe was set up by the UK and other countries in 1949 to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. It originally had nothing to do with the European Union but the EU now uses the same flag, which has become a symbol for the whole of Europe. There have always been 12 stars on the European Flag, regardless of the number of members of either organisation.
The town council flies a range of different flags through the year to mark a wide range of events, including the Union Flag for major national and royal occasions, St George’s Cross to mark St George’s Day (23 April) and more recently the flag of Ukraine, which was raised in solidarity with that country while it is at war.