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Fundraising campaign launched for historic flag given to Norwich by Admiral Lord Nelson

PUBLISHED: 17:40 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:51 10 March 2017

The Ensign of French the ship Le Généreux was given to Norwich by Admiral Lord Nelson.
Pictured is The Ensign of Le Généreux in St Andrews Hall, in Norwich, Photo: Norfolk Museums Service.

The Ensign of French the ship Le Généreux was given to Norwich by Admiral Lord Nelson. Pictured is The Ensign of Le Généreux in St Andrews Hall, in Norwich, Photo: Norfolk Museums Service.

© Norfolk Museums Service

History enthusiasts are being asked to support a Norwich fundraising campaign to raise £5,000 to help preserve a huge flag given to the city by Norfolk's most famous son.

The Ensign of French the ship Le Généreux was given to Norwich by Admiral Lord Nelson.
Pictured is Admiral Lord Admiral Nelson, 1801 by William Beechey (1753-1839).
Image: © Norfolk Museums ServiceThe Ensign of French the ship Le Généreux was given to Norwich by Admiral Lord Nelson. Pictured is Admiral Lord Admiral Nelson, 1801 by William Beechey (1753-1839). Image: © Norfolk Museums Service

The Tricolour was the ensign of the French ship Le Généreux which was captured by Admiral Lord Nelson’s men during the Battle of the Malta Convoy in 1800. The flag - which measures 16 metres by 8.3 metres - was sent to the city as a gift from the great naval hero himself and one of his most trusted captains, Captain Edward Berry.

This summer it will be put on display for the first time in more than a century when it features in the Nelson and Norfolk exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery from July 29 to October 1.

A Just Giving fundraising campaign has been launched to raise £5,000 towards the £40,000 cost of preserving the flag and providing accessible storage which will allow it to be enjoyed by visitors to other venues and also be featured in a proposed permanent display in Norwich.

Steve Miller, head of Norfolk Museums Service, said: “After the exhibition, we don’t want the ensign to have to go back into storage again for another 100 years. If we’re able to raise the money, we can ensure this remarkable object is seen by the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to the castle each year, as well as audiences across the UK and further afield....At the time of his death memorials to the great man sprang up around the country, many of them paid for through public subscription. That’s why we’re running a public fund-raising campaign as well as approaching the more usual channels of grant making trusts, because we believe it’s appropriate to the whole memory of Nelson and that the public will welcome the chance to get involved in preserving this unique piece of national history.”

The Ensign of French the ship Le Généreux was given to Norwich by Admiral Lord Nelson.
Pictured is the Ensign of Le Généreux, in St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Photo: © Norfolk Museums Service.The Ensign of French the ship Le Généreux was given to Norwich by Admiral Lord Nelson. Pictured is the Ensign of Le Généreux, in St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Photo: © Norfolk Museums Service.

The reason the flag has been hidden from public view for so long is because of its fragile nature, and volunteers have been carrying out painstaking conservation work ready for it to feature in the summer exhibition.

The Just Giving campaign has been launched by Norfolk Museums Service and the Costume and Textile Association. The CTA has also made a £5,000 donation.

Visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/costumetextile-association/ensignoflegenereux

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