THE public gathered outside the Great Hall as the first Hampshire Day ceremony unfurled.

The inaugural event, held in Castle Yard, is part of a Government campaign to celebrate the historic counties of England, and was hosted by Lord-Lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson.

Before raising a new flag, which has been designed to highlight the “specialness and unity” of the area, the Lord-Lieutenant said: “I’m delighted Hampshire is taking part in this spectacular national initiative. It is important to come together as one and remember the people of past and present.

“Today, we look at those well known historic figures, and of course the less famous of the modern times. Hampshire Day will provide an annual opportunity to remember the rich history and county life of Hampshire.”

The flag was blessed by the Dean of Winchester, the Very Rev Catherine Ogle.