Lib Dems launch flag for St George's Day.

April 23, 2008 4:50 AM

Rochdale marked St George's day with the raising of the flag outside Rochdale Town Hall. Leader of the Council Alan Taylor was joined by a number of local residents and councillors at the front of the town hall for the celebrations. The St George's flag also flew outside many pubs, businesses, cars and homes.

Council Leader Alan Taylor said: "I was delighted and honoured to be raising the flag today. St George's Day is a brilliant opportunity to show the pride that we have in our culture, society and history. For me England is about the wonderful diversity of the many people that live here and it is by celebrating this diversity that we can reclaim nationalism for positive reasons. Here in Rochdale we have many communities that rightly celebrate their national day too and recently I went to the raising of the Irish flag for St Patrick's Day.

"I am pleased to see that many of our local residents have got into the spirit of the day. I have seen many flags flying from shops, homes and cars and I have even noticed some residents wearing the red rose. I look forward to the raising of other flags in Rochdale throughout the next year in celebration of our diversity."

Local MP Paul Rowen also used the day to repeat his call for the day to be marked as a Bank Holiday. Paul has been campaigning on this issue for some time. Paul said, "Many countries across the world celebrate their national day with a Bank Holiday. There is currently a debate raging on a new Bank Holiday. People are backing a 'Veteran's Day' and think we should combine them both on April 23rd. I know many of my colleagues in Parliament support this stance. I am happy to see our Council recognising St George's Day in this manner. I hope that we can look at extending our celebrations through our schools for next year."

Councillors who attended the flag raising including Councillor Peter Clegg, a British Legion Member and Lancashire Fusiliers, Councillor Mohammed Sharif, the Cabinet Member of Regeneration and Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, the Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Cohesion.