Flags designed by 79 primary school children to represent their local communities are flying in Westminster in the week that the new 2015 parliament meets.
Created by pupils in over 450 primary schools from across the UK, the 2015 Flag Project forms part of the Houses of Parliament’s public programme Parliament in the Making.
The programme marks two important anniversaries in 2015: 750 years since the Simon de Montfort parliament in 1265 and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215.
The project was aimed at introducing children at a young age to the concept of representation.
All the chosen flags were designed by pupils aged 7 – 11 years. Each flag has been chosen to represent one historic county of the UK.
Jonathan Parsons, the renowned flag artist was commissioned as the creative lead on the project. He also designed a flag to represent the project and participating schools.
He said: “It is thrilling to see the culmination of this parliamentary project, which has enabled its participants to learn about their democratic heritage through creative work.”
According to Mr Parsons, the children had “represented their local identities in a variety of imaginative ways”. These included drawing on the natural environment of their area, a local trade or industry, or the area’s myths and legends.
Historian Tristram Hunt, who is MP for Stoke on Trent Central and shadow secretary of state for education, said he was “proud of the very high standard of work demonstrated by all participants”.
“I am very pleased that a design developed by a school in my own constituency has become the one used for the flag made to represent the historic county of Staffordshire.”
He added: “It feels very right to commemorate this year’s 750th anniversary of the Montfort parliament – a parliament thought by many to have started the tradition which ultimately led to the House of Commons – by looking to our future generation of voters.”
The display of flags in Parliament Square was made possible with financial support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Of the 80 flags on display in Parliament Square until Friday May 22, 58 will be at full ceremonial size, with a further 22 made to a smaller scale and installed on temporary flagpoles.
The project remains open and any primary school can still take part in this project until 31 December.
A video workshop and toolkit (for teachers) is available to download