Two flags from Trafalgar in peril
I was unaware of the existence of these flags, but it seems that the master's mate of the Minotaur
, a Stephen Hilton, brought home his ship's Union Flag, and also one taken from the Spanish prize Neptuno
. These flags have been in Hilton's home village of Selling, in Kent, ever since. For some years they were on display in the village church, St Mary the Virgin.
News has recently broken that the church intends to "dispose" of these two flags. The Hilton family seem to claim that the church has no right to do so, and there is fear that the diocesan Church of England might try to put these (unique?) flags up for public sale, with a real danger that they might be sold abroad.
The "Nelson & His World" forum has got wind of this and there is a brisk discussion ongoing at:http://www.nelsonandhisworld.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1259
Several outraged members of the forum are urging people to lodge official protests with the diocesan Church, but there is a deadline of September 15th for any protests, and it now seems that the Church of England rules allow the Church to ignore protests that do not meet its self-appointed rules!
For the Hilton family side of the story, see the news item in the local Faversham newspaper:http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Battle-flags-village/story-13252101-detail/story.html