THE Dorset flag is flying in the heart of London.

The red, white, and gold standard has been seen for a week hoisted above the HQ of the Department for Communities and Local Government in Victoria.

Secretary of State, Eric Pickles MP, is flying each of the nation’s county flags for a week to show their importance to the nation’s heritage.

Chris Brown, Wimborne Minster’s town crier and a driving force behind the Dorset flag, said he was delighted that it was being flow in the capital.

“I think it’s fantastic. It shows the arrival of the Dorset flag into everybody’s consciousness. Simply put, it’s a great thing to have.

“It’s good to show a bit of regional pride, which is something I see a lot in other countries. The German towns all have a flag, and some the French departments.”

“We knew we were answering a need. As town criers, my colleagues and I had been asked countless times if there was a county flag.”

Its red, white, and gold colours feature on the flags of a number of councils across Dorset, and in the standard of the Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.

The gold – drawn from Dorset’s Saxon roots when a golden dragon represented the kingdom of Wessex, and symbolising the county’s cornfields and sandy beaches – was popular with citizens and sailors, said Chris.

“It’s a proper design, well thought-out, and has clearly has caught the mood of the people. They love the golden field. I was chatting to some sailors and they said the flag was visible at sea,” said Chris.

Cllr Angus Campbell, leader of Dorset County Council, said he was proud that the flag had been flown outside DCLG HQ.

“Dorset is an ancient county with a proud historical heritage. It is no surprise that Dorset folk have a distinctive pride in their identity and an instinctive love for their county.”