Museum Invite You to Flag Up Your Hero for Community Project

As the people and businesses of Henley and surrounding areas slowly begin to emerge from the past few months of lockdown, the River & Rowing Museum would like to wave a flag to the community.

Many people and businesses have truly risen to the challenge and provided much appreciated, incredible support to the people of Henley. Whether it be delivering or shopping for food, local suppliers delivering fruit and vegetables to vulnerable people, NHS staff, carers, key workers, or a supportive and thoughtful next door neighbour.

As a celebration of the community and your heroes within it, the Museum has been working together with local partners including haberdashery partner Lady Sew & Sew to create ‘Flag up my Hero’.

The River & Rowing Museum’s ‘Flag up my Hero’ community project, plays on the nautical tradition of boats ‘dressed overall’ – when boats are dressed to mark a special occasion using triangular pennants and square flags. These Henley ‘tribute flags’ will celebrate our community as the town welcomes back visitors. The flags will also serve as an important and very visual community ‘thank you’ to celebrate our coming through this difficult time together, including more personal tributes to personal local ‘heroes’ of lockdown to whom flags can be dedicated.

Using flag kits, templates and instructions created by the Museum, and a fabric base, young and old can make flags across the school holiday period. Your flag can be simple or more involved to make (sewing or paint-based). You could even choose to weave in the colours of your school, club or company. Fabric flags featuring scrub colours can also be made as a poignant ‘thank you’ to the amazing work of the NHS and keyworkers at the same time.

The kits provided by the Museum include pieces of fabric in 5 different colours,  including the colours of hospital scrubs, which can be incorporated into your flag design.  You will need a fabric base such as an old pillow case, left over material in your sewing kit or a tea towel (following parental approval where appropriate!). The brighter and more creative your design, the better, the more flags you want to make, the merrier!

Your flags will be flown from Henley’s ‘community boat’ – the River & Rowing Museum – at the end of the school holidays, in celebration of all that is Henley for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.

Henley Mayor, Ken Arlett, says: “Henley Town Council is delighted to support our own River & Rowing Museum’s brilliant community initiative – ‘Flag Up my Hero’. I encourage all Henley residents and businesses to get behind this fantastic opportunity to say thank you to our own personal heroes, at these most challenging times. I look forward to celebrating the end result with you all.”

Register today

You don’t need a kit to create your flag(s), but if you’d prefer to order your ‘Flag up my Hero’ Kit, register your details at

Your ‘Flag up my Hero’ Kit is free of charge, but voluntary contributions are gratefully received and will help to secure the future of the Museum.

Full details, as well as information regarding arranging collection or delivery of your kit can be found here too, as well as FAQs which have been flagged up.

Sarah Posey, Director of the Museum says “It’s been heart-warming to see how everyone has pulled together over the past few months. ‘Flag up my Hero’ offers the Museum the opportunity to highlight our local heroes, from all walks of life. Let’s fly the flag for Henley and our incredible community.”

With special thanks to Lady Sew & Sew.


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