I hope you're celebrating by wearing a white rose today, or maybe joining in one of the many events happening around the county. I like to see Yorkshire traditions evolving and including more people. It's good to remember the past and celebrate our differences, but it's also important to remember that what makes Yorkshire really great is the people, our generosity (yes, really!) and willingness to welcome everyone to enjoy the bit of land we've been lucky enough to live on.
Yorkshire Day includes Minden Day, commemorating the battle of Minden in Germany on 1st August 1759, where troops picked wild roses and wore them into battle.
1st August is also the anniversary of the commencement of the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act, which is linked to Yorkshire by Hull born William Wilberforce, MP for Yorkshire 1784-1812, and leading campaigner against the British slave trade. He lived just long enough to see the act pass in the House of Commons.
Since the 80's there has been an annual civic procession including mayors and lord mayors from around the county, which is hosted by a different town or city each year on Yorkshire Day. It's quite the spectacle when they all gather in full regalia, and his year it's in my home city of York.
However Yorkshire Day is probably best know as the day when the declaration of the integrity of Yorkshire is read. This was originally a protest against the re-organisation of local government authority districts in the 1970s, and re-affirms Yorkshire as a unified whole.
THE DECLARATION OF THE INTEGRITY OF YORKSHIRE*
Your attention please! I Zoe, being a native of and/or resident of Yorkshire declare:
That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York with these boundaries of 1146 years standing.
That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire.
That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshire people.
That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.
These declarations made this Yorkshire day 2021.
* with minor changes made to reflect that not all people are men or women, and also to remove "God save the Queen" because I'm neither royalist nor Christian.