Yorkshire Day 2022: when is celebration, what is it - white rose symbol, ‘happy’ memes, and flag explained

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Yorkshire Day has been celebrated for almost five decades

Every year, people in the county of Yorkshire look forward to August because this is when their national day of celebration - Yorkshire Day.

The day has been marked for almost 50 years and sees proud Yorkshire men and women declare their love for towns and cities within the area.

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Even Yorkshire natives who have moved to other parts of the UK - or even other parts of the world - speak about their fondness for the county on social media.

But, just what is Yorkshire Day, when is it, how is it celebrated and what is its history?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Yorkshire Day 2022 - the civic gathering will be held in Keighley, West Yorkshire, this year.Yorkshire Day 2022 - the civic gathering will be held in Keighley, West Yorkshire, this year.
Yorkshire Day 2022 - the civic gathering will be held in Keighley, West Yorkshire, this year. | Adobe Photos

What is Yorkshire Day?

Yorkshire Day is a yearly celebration to promote the historic county of Yorkshire, north England, which is the largest county in the UK.

The day encompasses anything to do with Yorkshire, from cooking to landscapes and military customs.

When is Yorkshire Day?

Yorkshire Day is held on the same day every year, 1 August.

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That means Yorkshire Day 2022 will take place on Monday 1 August.

What is the history of Yorkshire Day?

In modern day, Yorkshire Day is celebrated as a positive day, with many proud Yorkshire men and women declaring it the best day of the year and warming wishing each other “happy Yorkshire Day”.

However, it was celebrated by the Yorkshire Ridings Society in 1975, initially in Beverley, East Yorkshire,  as a protest movement against the local government reorganisation of 1974.

The day was also chosen because William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire MP, campaigned for emancipation and became leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.

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This led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 being passed on 1 August, during the British Empire in 1834.

In addition, the date alludes to the regimental anniversary of the Battle of Minden on 1 August and the wearing of roses in the headdress on that day.

In the case of the Light Infantry, successors to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, a white rose.

How is Yorkshire Day celebrated?

There are various celebrations that take place across North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire every year to mark Yorkshire Day.

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Amongst the celebrations there is a civic gathering of lord mayors, mayors, and other civic heads from across the county, convened by the Yorkshire Society, on 1 August each year.

The host town or city has the honour and prestige of being the official Yorkshire Day town or city for a full calendar year.

This is marked with the handing over of the Yorkshire Day flag from council to council on the day, each council adding its coat of arms to the flag to record their year.

In 2022, the civic gathering is taking place in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

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On Yorkshire Day, members of the Yorkshire  Society read a "Declaration of Integrity":

The declaration states that “all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women; That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.”

The declaration ends with the phrase “made this Yorkshire Day [Year]. God Save the Queen!”

People also hold their own celebrations with their friends and family, possibly by making and eating Yorkshire puddings or enjoying a cup of Yorkshire tea

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Why is the white rose the symbol of Yorkshire?

It’s thought that the white rose was adopted as a symbol in the 14th century.

The white rose came to prominence during the Seven Years War, when the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry fought at the Battle of Minden in Prussia.

They picked white roses from bushes on the battlefields as a tribute to their fallen comrades, and wore them in their buttonholes.

The battle took place on 1 August 1759, and Yorkshire Day is held on its anniversary to commemorate them

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What is the Yorkshire flag?

The official Yorkshire flag depicts the white rose on a blue background, but it’s only been officially flown since the 1960s.

The flag was registered by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008 at the request of the Yorkshire Ridings Society.

The design registered by the Society was one of three rival flag designs for Yorkshire.

What are some of the best happy Yorkshire Day memes?

Here are some of the best Yorkshire Day memes:

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