STARK colours of orange and black will fly over Witney Town Council to mark World Refugee Day next week.

The Refugee Nation flag will be hoisted on Thursday as a gesture of solidarity with the refugee community across both the town and the world.

The flying will also mark Refugee Week which takes place across the world from June 17 to 21.

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Since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, six families have been resettled in Witney and West Oxfordshire under the Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, after fleeing the war-torn country.

The flag takes inspiration for its striking orange and black design from the similarly-coloured lifejackets, which have become synonymous with refugees crossing the Mediterranean.

Witney Town Council says it is one of the first local authorities in the country to fly the flag.

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Deputy Mayor, Joy Aitman, who is also Vice Chair of the Stronger Communities committee which passed the motion, said: “It is easy to forget the plight of 60 million refugees and internally-displaced people when you live in rural Oxfordshire. We want our local refugee families to know we are thinking of them and their friends and families who have not yet found a safe home.

"I am a strong believer that if you have plenty, you make your table longer and you add more seats.”