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Flag days

The two magnificent west towers, above the Great West Door, were the last major construction work to be carried out on the Abbey, constructed from Portland stone between 1722 and 1745 to a design by Nicholas Hawksmoor.

The Abbey Flag flying from the West Towers

On top of the north tower sits a flag pole on which the Abbey flies flags - of the Commonwealth Nations, the Flag of St Peter, the Abbey Flag, the Union Flag, the Flags of the National Saints, the Royal Air Force Flag, and the Royal Standard.


 The Flag of St Peter

Flag of St Peter

Red with a pair of Golden Cross Keys, together with the Ring of St Edward the Confessor. This flag combines the symbols of the two Patron Saints of the Abbey: the ring of St Edward the Confessor, king of England 1043–1066 and founder of the Abbey in 1065; and the keys of St Peter, keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven, after whom the Abbey was named when it was re-founded as a Collegiate Church in 1579. It is flown on most Church Festivals, such as the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Christmas Day.


The Abbey Flag

Abbey flag

This bears the coat of arms of Westminster Abbey, and is flown during a State Visit on the day when the Head of State visits the Grave of The Unknown Warrior.


Other Flags

The Union Flag is flown on Remembrance Sunday.

The Flags of the National Saints; George, Andrew, and Patrick, are flown on their respective days, and the Welsh Dragon Flag is flown on St David's Day.

The Royal Air Force Flag is flown on the Commemoration of the Battle of Britain.

The Royal Standard is flown whenever the Sovereign is within the Abbey or its Precincts. It is also flown whenever the Sovereign opens Parliament, a privilege granted by King Edward VII.

A National Flag is flown on the day when the High Commission of a Commonwealth member state is represented at Evensong.


Flag day calendar

November

Sunday, 25th November 2018
Christ the King
St Peter flag

Friday, 30th November 2018
St Andrew’s Day
Saltaire

December

Saturday, 8th December 2018
Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St Peter flag

Monday, 24th December 2018
Christmas Eve
St Peter flag

Tuesday, 25th December 2018
Christmas Day
St Peter flag

Wednesday, 26th December 2018
St Stephen
St Peter flag

Thursday, 27th December 2018
St John
St Peter flag

Friday, 28th December 2018
The Holy Innocents
St Peter flag

Monday, 31st December 2018
Eve of The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus
St Peter flag

January

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019
The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus
St Peter flag

Saturday, 5th January 2019
Eve of Epiphany, Death of St Edward the Confessor
St Peter flag

Sunday, 6th January 2019
Epiphany
St Peter flag

Friday, 25th January 2019
Conversion of St Paul
St Peter flag

February

Friday, 1st February 2019
Eve of Presentation of Christ in the Temple
St Peter flag

Saturday, 2nd February 2019
Presentation of Christ in the Temple
St Peter flag

March

Friday, 1st March 2019
Ash Wednesday
St Peter flag

Saturday, 2nd March 2019
St David’s Day (transferred)
Red Dragon flag

Wednesday, 13th March 2019
Commonwealth Day
Abbey flag and Royal Standard

Sunday, 17th March 2019
St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick flag

The Shrine of St Edward the Confessor is one of the most powerful features of the Abbey. To stand in the presence of a man who is both a saint and a monarch is awe-inspiring.

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The Reverend Christopher Stoltz - Minor Canon

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