Tag Archives: flags

British regional flag proposals

permapA couple of posts ago I suggested a flag for the South West region of England, combining the Wessex wyvern and the bezants on black from the arms of Cornwall. Since then I have produced a full set of flags for the British regions. These are based on the official government statistical regions, although it is quite possible that these will not be the basis for a regional government structure, if and when it comes. Starting in the South East, here they are:


01reg-londonLondon

Based on the City of London flag and arms, but with a saxon crown in stead of a sword, to indicate London’s status as the UK and English capital. (for those who might not know, the City of London is only a tiny area of (Greater) London, which is why its flag can’t be used to represent the whole capital). The Saxon crown appeared in the former arms of the Greater London Council (1965-86).


02reg-home-countiesSouth East England

For London’s hinterland, I thought a flag similar to that of London would be appropriate, but instead of a single Saxon crown, there are four crowns representing the multiple early kingdoms which occupied this area (e.g. Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Middlesex, Mercia).



South West England
 
03reg-wessex

As posted before, this combines the gold wyvern of Wessex with the bezants (gold disks) on black from the arms of Cornwall. Cornwall did eventually become part of Wessex, but since it has its own more distinct identity and is now an officially recognized national group, it seemed sensible to give it recognition, and to produce a flag distinct from the traditional flag of Wessex.


west-mercia1West Midlands

The West Midlands occupies the western area of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia. The attributed flag and coat of arms of Mercia is a gold saltire on blue (which is also the arms of the City of St.Albans). To represent just the western half of the old kingdom, I have added a black border to the saltire, which symbolizes the area’s industry (the West Midlands include Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country).


east-mercia1East Midlands

The flag of Mercia is also the basis for the flag of the East Midlands. Over the yellow saltire is a narrow green one, indicative of the region’s famous Sherwood Forest and “Lincoln green”.


06reg-east-englandEast of England

The East of England region is largely based on the ancient kingdom of East Anglia, but also includes Essex and part of Mercia, so this flag contains a crown for each kingdom. It is essentially the traditional flag of East Anglia (three yellow Saxon crowns on blue), whose colours are also those of Mercia, but the bottom half is red, taken from the arms of Essex.


07reg-yorkshire-humberYorkshire and the Humber

This region consists of the whole county of Yorkshire, whose flag is a white rose on blue, along with the northern part of the traditional county of Lincolnshire, which is represented by the fleur-de-lys and the green background at the bottom (both taken from the flag of Lincolnshire).



09reg-cumbria-palatinesNorth West England 

The North West region consists of the old counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmorland, and the flag is a combination of elements from the coats of arms of each : The wheatsheef from Cheshire, red rose of Lancashire, blue waves from Cumberland and red bars from Westmorland.

This is my least favourite of these flags, but I haven’t yet come up with anything better!


08reg-northumbriaNorth East England

I take no credit for this one! It is the flag traditionally associated with the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, which included the whole of North East England (and more!).


12reg-northern-irelandNorthern Ireland 

Oddly for a constituent nation, Northern Ireland currently has no official flag, although the banner of the former Government of Northern Ireland is used when necessary (e.g. at sports events). However, I’m guessing it is not a favourite among the nationalist community, with its English Cross of St.George and royal crown. I proposed an alternative in an earlier post, but another option is the banner of the arms which I also mentioned elsewhere : the traditional arms of Ulster, but with the white shield replaced by a white hexagon, representing the six counties (as opposed to Ulster’s nine) and also indicative of the famous Giant’s Causeway.


Existing flags

Just for completeness, we need the flags of Scotland and Wales (and England, although isn’t an official region as such):

scot-wales-eng


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UK local flag ideas : Bristol (England)

bristol-flag-mini A flag for Bristol?

The City of Bristol, in the west of England, straddles two of England’s historic counties – Gloucestershire and Somerset, although the extension into Somerset (south of the River Avon) only occurred in the late 19th century. However, it has been a City and County in its own right since 1373, except for the 22 years between 1974 and 1996 when it was part of the now-departed and unlamented County of Avon.

For centuries, Bristol competed with Norwich for the status of England’s second city, until both were overtaken by rapidly-expanding industrial cities further north (Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool …). It was a major port, accessing the Atlantic Ocean via the River Avon, which flows through the city and into the Severn Estuary. Bristol has the honour of being the home port of John Cabot, who, in 1497 set sail in his ship The Matthew to become the first European since the Vikings to set foot on the North American mainland. The city also has the dishonour of having been heavily involved in the slave trade, from which much of its wealth emanated.

city bristol

Bristol has a history of innovative engineering achievements, such as the SS Great Britain, which was the World’s largest ship when it was launched in 1843, and the first screw-propelled, ocean-going, wrought iron ship. The same engineer who designed the Great Britain, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was also responsible for the Great Western railway which ran from London to Bristol, and for the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge in the west of the city. In the 20th century, Bristol developed an aircraft industry, producing aircraft for use in both World Wars and later becoming the British centre for the construction and testing of the World’s first supersonic passenger airliner, Concorde. It is now involved in the construction of the Airbus A380, the World’s largest passenger airplane.

The shield of Bristol’s coat of arms dates from the 14th century, and the full arms were granted in 1569. They reflect medieval Bristol’s status as a well-fortified city and a port. These arms now belong to Bristol City Council, and I think I have seen the banner of arms in use by the council.

For a city (as opposed to Council) flag, I opted for simple representations of the city’s maritime and engineering heritage. Maritime activity has to be represented by a ship, as it is in the coat of arms, although I have chosen to use Cabot’s Matthew rather than the medieval vessel in the arms. For engineering and innovation, in the interests of keeping things simple, I opted for nothing more than an inverted arch, indicative of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The colours – red, white and blue – are from the coat of arms.

bristol-flag-idea bristol-flag-clifton

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