Inverclyde’s civic figurehead has paid tribute to people who work at sea to mark Merchant Navy Day.
Provost Drew McKenzie says the area is uniquely positioned to know all about the efforts of seagoing men and women, from those who served in conflict to those who keep important trade channels flowing.
Merchant Navy Day is run by The Seafarers’ Charity and takes place on 3 September each year with individuals and organisations encouraged to fly the Red Ensign.
The flag is flown each year by Inverclyde Council aloft on the flagpole at Clyde Square outside the Municipal Buildings in Greenock.
Merchant Navy Day honours those who kept Britain afloat during both World Wars and celebrates the dependence on modern-day merchant seafarers who are said to be responsible for more than 90 per cent of the UK’s imports.
Provost McKenzie said: “Nestled next to the River Clyde, we know more than most here in Inverclyde about the importance of all those who work at sea from the Merchant Navy to the Royal Navy and everyone in between.
“The Merchant Navy may be a civilian service, but it ranks on the same level as the Armed Forces because of its critical role.
“It is therefore only right that we honour and remember the sacrifices of the often forgotten and invisible but very hard-working seafarers who ply their trade on our seas often for weeks and months on end and in very challenging conditions to bring supplies to these shores, take our wares to the world and stand ready to serve our country in times of conflict.”
The Red Ensign has been recognised worldwide since 1854 as the flag of the British Merchant Navy and is flown on ‘UK-flagged’ vessels of all sizes.
The date of 3 September was adopted as Merchant Navy Day and sees flags flown ashore at locations across the country.