WIGAN has become the only town in the country this year to land a special award.
The prestigious Flag of Honour from the Council of Europe was bestowed on the borough when the Mayor of twin town Angers, Frederique Beatse, visited.
Wigan is the only town in the UK this year to receive the flag - awarded to towns that have active twinning arrangements.
A total of 17 international towns were given the standard each 12 months.
Jim Dobbin, MP for Heywood and Middleton and member of the European Scrutiny select committee, presented the Flag to the Mayor of Wigan, Coun Myra Whiteside, on behalf of the Council of Europe.
She said: “The flag of honour has been given to Wigan by the Council of Europe for our twinning arrangements.
“It is always wonderful for good work to be recognised and our friendship with Angers has been a really excellent partnership that we all work really hard at.
“We are very proud of gaining this award and see it as a signifier of the importance we give to working together.
“We have a fantastic partnership between music and dance groups, residents and families.
“However, we are particularly proud of our schools and colleges’ work which gives our children the opportunity to visit Angers, communicate with children from that great city, learn about each other and form friendships on a very personal level that can last for years.”
Wigan is now racking up the honours.
The Council of Europe gives four prizes each year: The European Diploma, The Flag of Honour, The Plaque of Honour and The Europe Prize.
Wigan received the European Diploma - the first step in the honours system - back in 2009 by the Council of Europe.
Now it has the second award - the flag - which is embroidered and fringed with gold, and is the most popular award and an essential step towards the higher accolade - The Plaque of Honour and The Europe Prize.