Fly the flag - it’s Sussex Day

Today is Sussex Day, but how many people in the county realise it?

The Sussex flag.
The Sussex flag.

The date was chosen because it is St Richard’s Day – which marks the life of St Richard, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1245 until his death in 1253.

Various events are held in the lead up to the day and the Sussex flag is flown over a number of buildings, such as Hastings Castle.

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Since 2013 the Sussex flag has been flown annually in each of the six ancient Rapes, the medieval administrative divisions, in the week running up to Sussex Day.

Large county flags are hoisted over the castle, the Council House in Chichester, the Town Hall in Arundel, from St Peter’s Church in Upper Beeding representing Bramber, from Lewes Castle and from St Nicholas’ Church in Pevensey; each representing their respective historic division of Sussex.

There is a Sussex Day Twitter account (@SussexDay16June) which promoted events that happened on Sunday (June 14) at Worthing, Seaford and Alfriston.

In fact, Alfriston village fair was a celebration of all things Sussex, with local food, music and dancing.

The Facebook page Sussex Flag also literally ‘flags’ up the county’s pennant, with photos of the flag appearing at football matches, stadiums and even in gardens.

The flag of Sussex was registered in May 2011. It flag represents the whole of Sussex and is based on the traditional emblem of Sussex, six gold martlets on a blue field.

This emblem was first used by cartographer John Speed in 1611, as the emblem of the Kingdom of the South Saxons.

Sussex, of course, has its own dialect with expressions such as ‘we wunt be druv’ (we won’t be driven’).

According to one source, there are 30 different terms for mud in the county’s dialect.

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