The flag of Bedfordshire has been hoisted above a Government office to celebrate the importance counties play in the nation's cultural heritage.
Secretary of State Eric Pickles asked that English county standards be flown alongside the Union Flag outside the Department for Communities and Local Government's office in London.
Mr Pickles raised the first flag for his adopted home county of Essex in the ceremony.
Flags are being flown for a week at a time in alphabetical order or – in cases such as Cornwall and Yorkshire - to coincide with particular county days.
Sir Samuel Whitbread KCVO, Lord Lieutenant for Bedfordshire, said: "I am delighted to hear that Bedfordshire's County flag is to fly above the offices of the Department for Communities and Local Government alongside the Union Flag. Bedfordshire is very proud of its long history and the demise of the county council in 2009 is regretted by many in the county."