In honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

The ‘biggest Union Flag in the world’ is being re-sprayed in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The shed doors at Venture Quays, Cowes , Isle of Wight, which sport the image are being repainted.

First painted in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the 46m x 12m permanent image of the Union Flag will be revitalised, commissioned by the Artemis Offshore Academy.

Over the next six weeks the painters will be assisted with brushwork from Dame Ellen MacArthur, Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson, Olympians and local schoolchildren.

Originally built in 1935 by British aero- and marine-engineering company Saunders-Roe, the Columbine Shed has been at the forefront of British maritime innovation. Before WWII, the firm specialised in manufacturing powerboats such as Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird – Campbell set the water speed record four times, his highest speed being 141.740 mph (228.108 km/h) in the Bluebird K4 on 19th August 1939 on Coniston Water, England.

Then in 1946, SARO began construction of the world’s largest passenger seaplane, The Princess. It was also on this site in 1957 that Sir Christopher Cockerell began pioneering the worlds first Hovercraft, the ‘SR.N1′ inspired by a coffee tin, a KiteKat tin, a hair dryer and a pair of scales!

And in 1977, the British Hovercraft Corporation first painted the Union Flag on the doors of the Columbine Shed to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. To this day the Columbine Shed at Venture Quays is still a working boat yard, home to the Artemis Offshore Academy, a British solo offshore sailing academy of excellence, and South Boats who build and maintain aluminium catamaran work boats.

The painting of the giant Union Flag will be finished in time for the Queen’s visit to the Isle of Wight on the 25th July and the start of the London Olympics on the 27th July. The visit forms part of the Queen’s tour of the United Kingdom to mark the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.