Eric Pickles is a Tory, and a member of the Coalition Government, and so one would think no friend of Wessex. Yet this weekend, his department flew the Wyvern outside its head office, Eland House in London, to mark St Ealdhelm’s Day, the 25th of May. View the photographic proof.
Pickles’ politics apart, he has done good work for all who value our traditional shire and regional identities. Having begun by flying county flags outside his office, the Communities Secretary has now stepped up a gear by offering regions the chance to have their flags flown too.
And so the flag of Wessex flew at the heart of centralised government, a bright flame of hope for all who wish to see that system consigned to history. We welcome all cultural initiatives that help to put Wessex on the map, but that Wessex, for us, is not the dead stuff of history. The best days of Wessex are yet to come, when the Wyvern flies above the first Witan of a free folk to gather in nigh on a thousand years, with a thousand years of misrule to correct. What then will be its priorities?