Tag Archives: city

A flag for Liverpool

A campaign for a new flag for Liverpool has been launched, and is inviting ideas. I’ve submitted mine, which has been posted along with two earlier ones at their website.

This is my contibution:


The red is from the red rose of Lancashire. The wavy blue is for the River Mersey and the sea beyond, with a gold band representing the wealth generated from Liverpool’s maritime history. The Liver Bird is white, representing peace and harmony between the city’s different communities.

Copyright © 2015 Vexaldry

UK local flag ideas : Swansea (Wales)

There’s been a big surge in recent years in the adoption of flags for British counties, normally for historical counties rather than the more recent local government areas. Once adopted, by various means, they are registered on the Flag Institute’s “UK Flag Registry” and can be seen here.

There has been less activity in the adoption of more local flags – for cities, towns and districts, or (shock, horror!) present-day local government areas, although there are a few city and town flags on the Flag Institute’s registry. While in many areas there is still a strong identification with pre-1974 counties, I suspect that isn’t true everywhere (especially among the young), and that many people feel more affinity with their city or town than their county. So why not have more local flags as well? I thought I’d make a start with some ideas for places I know:

swansea2a-flying-noback The City and County of Swansea

The City and County of Swansea became a local government area in 1996. It covers almost the same geographical area as the old semi-independent Lordship of Gower, which existed from the 12th to the 16th centuries, and which itself was a Norman-English re-incarnation of the native Welsh Commote of Gŵyr. From a historical point of view, perhaps it is a shame that the City and County of Swansea wasn’t called the County of Gower.

city swansea3
Coat of arms of Swansea, granted in 1921

In medieval times, the town of Swansea was the capital of the Lordship of Gower and a seaport, and the remainder of the lordship was primarily engaged in agriculture and fishing.

Coal was being exported from Swansea by the 16th century, and during the industrial revolution the ready availability of coal led to the town becoming a major copper-smelting centre. Copper was brought from southwest England, and later from much further afield, because it was cheaper to transport the ore to the coal source than the other way round. For a time, about 80% of the World’s copper supply was smelted in, and exported from, Swansea, giving the town the nickname “Copperopolis”. Other coal-dependent industries, such as pottery, also thrived in the town.

To the west of the city lies the Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first officially-designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Agriculture is important on the peninsula, but tourism is also significant, with visitors coming for the beautiful countryside, beaches, castles and other attractions.

So … I wanted a flag which represented the city, its industrial heritage, the peninsula, the sea, the rural environment and agriculture. I didn’t want a heraldic banner of the arms (which rightfully belong to the City & County Council, not to the area or people in general), nor anything with complex charges. This is what I came up with:

swansea2-flag swansea-flag-mumbles

The widening band, left-to-right, west-to-east, represents the Gower Peninsula stretching into the rest of the county. The battlement comes from the Swansea coat of arms, representing the city and the area’s medieval castles (mostly ruins). Blue is for the sea and maritime activity, yellow beaches, green countryside and agriculture, and copper for Swansea’s industry. I would have liked to include black for coal-mining, but I didn’t like the look of any configuration I tried, so the copper colour stands homage to all industry, including the coal-ming without which the copper smelting could never have taken place.

There’s plenty more which could be represented, from past and present, but flags need to be kept simple! No flag can be a complete narrative about what it represents.

Copyright © 2014 Vexaldry, except … 
The map is from Wikipedia, derived from Ordnance Survey OpenData, licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, © Crown copyright and database right.