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Ship set to fly the Staffordshire Flag and boost councillor’s campaign

Captain Shaun Jones takes the Staffordshire Flag aboard RFA Wave Ruler

Captain Shaun Jones takes the Staffordshire Flag aboard RFA Wave Ruler

A county councillor’s campaign to re-introduce the Staffordshire Flag across the county has been given a boost a long way from home.

Cllr Matthew Ellis (Cons, Lichfield Rural East) has claimed that more prominence given to the flag could lead to an increased sense of local pride amongst residents.

And now his campaign has led to one of the nation’s largest naval vessels flying the county flag across the world.

RFA Wave Ruler, a 31,000 tonne fast fleet tanker, left for a year long deployment to the South Atlantic and West Indies on February 3. The ship will fly the county’s flag during port visits that could take place in Africa, the Falklands, South America , USA and the Caribbean. The first scheduled stop is in Santos, Brazil, later this month.

Flying the flag was the idea of the Wave Ruler’s commander, Captain Shaun Jones, who lives at Haughton near Stafford .

Captain Jones said:

“It will be a pleasure to fly the county flag of Staffordshire as we enter our various ports during the deployment. The Naval Service is very keen to promote the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary outside of the traditional Naval ports and it is hoped that this initiative will prove positive, productive and enduring.”

Wave Ruler left Portland in Dorset, on Wednesday evening andis not expected to return to the UK until early 2011.

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:

“It was a surprise and an honour when we received a request for a flag to be flown around the world – obviously we were absolutely delighted to oblige.

“We are looking forward to receiving regular updates from Wave Ruler, and pictures of the Staffordshire flag flying on some distant shores. Hopefully this can be the start of a regular exchange between Staffordshire County Council and Wave Ruler.”

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