Today Merchant Navy Day is being commemorated across the UK

365 Red Ensign-flying locations are listed in a ‘Roll of Honour’ at

Britain’s dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers is being commemorated across the UK on Merchant Navy Day, Saturday 3 September. The charity Seafarers UK asked local councils in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to hoist the Red Ensign - the British Merchant Navy’s official flag - on civic centre flagpoles and in public places. The Red Ensign is also being flown on many historic buildings - see

Merchant Navy Day has been commemorated in the UK since 2000. 3 September 1939 marked the outbreak of the Second World War. The merchant vessel SS Athenia was torpedoed just a few hours after hostilities were declared, with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.

Decades later the ‘island nation’ UK remains dependent on Merchant Navy seafarers. 95% of imports are shipped into Britain’s sea ports, including half of all food and daily supplies of fuel for power stations.

Seafarers UK’s President, HRH The Earl of Wessex, said,

‘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.’

Nick Harvey - Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK
t: 020 7932 5969 

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