Primary pupils’ flags on display to greet new MPs

MPs arriving at the House of Commons on the first day of a new parliamentary term today will be greeted by a display of 80 flags designed by primary school children.

The flags were designed by pupils at schools across the UK to celebrate the 750th anniversary of parliamentary representation, and will be on display at Parliament Square this week.

Each flag represents a school’s local community and has been hand-sewn to designs created by key stage 2 pupils.

It is part of a programme to mark the 750th anniversary of the 1265 Simon de Montfort parliament, at which representatives from the shires and boroughs came together for the first time, establishing a tradition that led to the creation of the House of Commons.

Around 450 schools submitted their students’ designs and a group of MPs chose which should become part of the display.

David Natzler, clerk of the House of Commons, said: “Flags are one of the key ways in which individual and group identities are represented around the world. This makes them a perfect vehicle to encapsulate a project celebrating this year’s anniversary of 750 years of political representation in the UK.”

Jonathan Parsons, the renowned flag artist commissioned as the creative lead on the project, said: “Through their flag designs, the children have represented their local identities in a variety of imaginative ways. They have drawn upon the natural environment of their area, or its myths, legends and history. Often, they have shown a local trade or industry.

“As an artist, I know that having your creative work validated is very empowering, so I hope that through this ultimate ‘show and tell’ every participant feels this project has given them a degree of influence – something that many children do not possess.”

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