Town and village flags of the United Kingdom

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Main article: British flags

Towns and village flags are rare in the United Kingdom but are a very colourful addition to national vexillology.

A small number of towns and villages in the United Kingdom have created their own flags, often showing great ingenuity and artistry. That of Finchfield in Staffordshire, for example, has a distinctive and attractive design which uses no more than one motif (three finches palewise) and a uniquely patterned division of the field cleverly depicting ears of wheat. Flore in Northamptonshire has two motifs (a flower and a plum) but between them a great deal of symbolism, for the flower is not only a cantling reference to the village name but its stamen portray a maypole pattern.

The Flag Institute's UK Flags Registry maintains the definitive list of local flags. A few city flags are included which are in truth banners of the city councils' arms, but town and village flags can be a world away from this and belonging to the town, not its council.

This creation of village flags is a growing phenomenon and a field of endeavour worthy of encouragement, for while some great cities have been associated with civic designs, the local flags of towns and villages come for the most part from the little battalions of society, not from the bureaucrats, and they shun civic emblems for those of meaning to the villagers or townsfolk themselves.

Cities

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Belfast.svg 1900 Belfast [1], Co Antrim A banner of the Council arms: it shows a ship and a bell (suggesting the City's name), and a pile vair
Birmingham City Flag.svg 2015 Birmingham [2], Warwickshire Two conjoined blue triangles at the hoist recall the letters B for Birmingham, the canals, and also the lozenges of the de Bermingham family arms which appear in the city's arms, while the golden zigzag forms an M for ‘the City of a thousand trades’. A golden bulls head is for the Bull Ring market in the centre of the city.
Flag of Cardiff.svg 1900 Cardiff [3], Glamorgan A banner of the Council's arms: a red dragon holds the banner of Iestyn ap Gwrgant, last Prince of Glamorgan
Flag of Edinburgh.svg 1900 Edinburgh [4], Midlothian A banner of the Council's arms: a three-towered castle upon a mount
Flag of the City of London.svg 1900 City of London [5] A banner of the Corporation's arms: the red cross of St George, with the sword of St Paul in the canton (upper fly) for the patron saints of England and London


Towns and villages

Berkshire

Flag Date Use Description
Newbury town flag.svg 30 April 2013 Newbury [6] The wavy line for is the Kennet, Newbury Castle, a teasel and a wheatsheaf for old industries, and crossed swords for Civil War battles

Buckinghamshire

Flag Date Use Description
Wing village flag.svg 30 April 2013 Wing [7] Blue and gold colours for the Dormer and the Rothschild families, an Saxon arch from the ancient church and the Dormers' badge, the falcon

Cambridgeshire

Flag Date Use Description
Horningsea village flag.svg 29 April 2014 Horningsea [8] A most striking flag showing a potter at his wheel - an industry of the village and its environs since Roman times. The colours of white and red were decided locally as the most appropriate to represent the village.


Cumberland

Flag Date Use Description
Nenthead village flag.svg 11 May 2014 Nenthead [9] The triangle symbolises the top of the River Nent valley and Knowbury Hill, the easternmost point of Cumberland. The eight-pointed star of Quakerism recalls the origins of the town and black and white stripes are for the lead (black) and silver (white) which lie beneath the village.
Penrith town flag.svg 9 November 2012 Penrith [10] The flag is based on the seal of the town, thought to date from when Henry III granted the town a market charter in 1223. The saltire is for St Andrew, to whom the parish church is dedicated; whether because Cumberland formerly belonged to Scotland, or praying for the saint's aid against raids from 'his' Scots. The seal has no colours, but for the flag, the bright red on white follow an example found printed on a souvenir small pot made by Goss and manufactured and in use before the First World War, and the red arms of the saltire may recall the rays of light from the traditional Penrith beacon.
Wreay village flag.svg 24 April 2015 Wreay [11] The flag was devised in the 1980s. The cross is for the bold faith of the Wreay. Two crossed smoking pipes denote a local institution, the Twelve Men of Wreay, and the silver bell is part of village history.

Derbyshire

Flag Date Use Description
Cromford village flag.svg 2016 Cromford [12] The famous mill at Cromford

Dorset

Flag Date Use Description
Flag of Isle of Portland.gif 14 April 2010 Isle of Portland [13] Cream, green and blue for Portland stone, grass and the sea, with a tower and naval crown for the Royal Navy and the Isle's defences

Kent

Flag Date Use Description
Cinque Ports towns flag.svg 2017 Cinque Ports
(Kent and Sussex) [14]
Derived from the traditional flag of Cinque Ports (The lions of England dimidiated with ships) which is reserved to the Lord Warden and authority
Four Elms, Kent village flag.svg Traditional Four Elms [15] Four elm leaves on a crossroads

Hampshire

Flag Date Use Description
Petersfield town flag.svg 2008 Petersfield [16] The crossed keys of St Peter on a green field

Lancashire

Flag Date Use Description
Preston town flag.svg 2012 Preston [17] The paschal lamb is from the town's arms, the colours from the sports teams: the Lilywhites (Preston North End) and others, and the cross from the churches and Preston's place as a transport hub
St Annes on Sea town flag.svg 2012 St Annes on Sea [18] The famous St Anne's lifeboat stands above the waves of the Irish Sea
Staining village flag.svg 2013 Staining [19] The village's windmill and a plough for agriculture, with rectangles recalling the crenulation on the parish church's tower

Merionethshire

Flag Date Use Description
Tywyn.svg 2013 Tywyn [20] A seaside resort: Yellow and blue for the beach and the sea, a raven trussed for John Corbett who built much of the town, now an emblem of Tywyn, and a dolphin naiant for the mereswine which swim off the coast here.

Monmouthshire

Flag Date Use Description
Craig-y-Dorth Flag.svg 2013 Craig-y-Dorth [21] A tiny village on a famous hill: Two wyverns facing as if in battle commemorate the Battle of Craig-y-Dorth in 1404, in the colours of the Flag of Monmouthshire and of Owain Glyndŵr, while the loaf is for the village's name, which means "Hill of the Loaf".
Monmouth town flag.svg 2015 Monmouth [22] A golden bridge over the blue for the Monnow Bridge, and a field of Welsh green, for Monmouth's role as the gateway into Wales, and a simple depiction of the gatehouse, offset to the hoist for visibility.

Northamptonshire

Flag Date Use Description
Evenley village flag.svg 2014 Evenley [23] At the hoist, three cowslips (Northamptonshire's county flower) on the village green, and the main field gold with a green dragon being slain with a lance and St George's pennant, for the parish church, St George's
Flore village flag.svg 2012 Flore [24] A flower for the name of Flore (formerly named "Flower") and the local Flore plum, with a bend wavy for the River Nene

Oxfordshire

Flag Date Use Description
Hampton Poyle village flag.svg 3 July 2014 Hampton Poyle [25] A traditional design based on the banner of the arms of Walter de la Poyle, from whose family the village is named
Wroxton village flag.svg 5 March 2009 Wroxton [26] A novel design chosen in a local vote

Staffordshire

Flag Date Use Description
Bloxwich town flag.svg 2017 Bloxwich [27] A green and black cross symbolises the industry (coal) and green spaces of the town. The lion recalls the story of a lion that escaped the local carnival to wander the town, and gave a name to the Romping Cat public house. The tree appears in previous local badges: it recalls the local story of the Wishing Tree.
Finchfield village flag.svg 2010 Finchfield [28] Goldfinches give the town its name, with yellow for farm fields of old and green for the modern parks, also the colours of the local schools. The two colours and thus two ages are linked together with an interlocked patterned line which represents agriculture.
Kingswinford town flag.svg 2011 Kingswinford [29] The design symbolises the origin and name of the town. The crowned boar represents the King's Swine, with the Saxon crown also denoting the age of the town. The placement of the boar on a blue field represents it fording a river to complete the allusion to the town's name.
Willenhall town flag.svg 14 June 2014 Willenhall [30] The design recalls the town's chief industry - lock making, with padlocks, keys and an embattled division like a locking mechanism. The crown recalls that Elizabeth I granted a patent for lock-making. The colours are those of the old borough

Stirlingshire

Flag Date Use Description
Denny and Dunipace (Stirlingshire) Flag.svg 2016 Denny and Dunipace
joint flag [31]
The two towns share a burgh and now a flag, showing the River Carron between Dunipace as an 11-pointed star for its 11 mills (18th century) and Carron as a castle for 'Caer Avon', the supposed origin of its name, all in the colours of the old burgh arms.

Surrey

Flag Date Use Description
Caterham village flag.svg 2016 Caterham [32] White, with a green and gold "racing stripes" wave (for Caterham Cars), and a badge showing the village's ancient cedar tree.

Sussex

Flag Date Use Description
Heathfield Village Flag.svg 2016 Heathfield [33] The tower in the upper fly is the Gibraltar Tower, a local landmark, and in the lower hoist the cuckoo is a longstanding symbol of the village.

Warwickshire

Flag Date Use Description
Birmingham City Flag.svg 2015 Birmingham [34] Two conjoined blue triangles at the hoist recall the letters B for Birmingham, the canals, and also the lozenges of the de Bermingham family arms which appear in the city's arms, while the golden zigzag forms an M for ‘the City of a thousand trades’. A golden bulls head is for the Bull Ring market in the centre of the city.
Digbeth village flag.svg 2015 Digbeth [35] A triband of light blue (for the sky and the area's Irish heritage), black and white, with four counterchanged rings over the latter bands, forming the shape of the railway viaduct. Ripples beneath show for the canal and the River Rea and recall loudspeakers marking Digbeth's urban arts scene.

Westmorland

Flag Date Use Description
Appleby-in-Westmorland town flag.svg 2014 Appleby-in-Westmorland [36] The heraldic golden apple tree from the town's arms, in the form represented on the Flag of Westmorland (thus reflecting both elements of the town's name), on a blue background: the town livery

Wiltshire

Flag Date Use Description
Calne town flag.svg 2009 Calne [37]
Pewsey village flag.svg 2014 Pewsey [38]

Regions and islands

The following flags of regions and islands are registered by the Flag Institute:

Flag Date Use Description
Isle of Barra flag.svg 2017 Flag of Barra [39] A Nordic cross with a green field; used unofficially for many years, it represents the island's links with Ireland and its Norse heritage.
Black Country Flag.svg 2012 Flag Of The Black Country The winning design in a 2012 competition launched by the Black Country Living Museum. The red and black colours refer to a description of the locality as “black by day and red by night”. The central white area represents the glass cone, a symbol of the region's glass-making heritage since 1790. It was created by Gracie Sheppard of Redhill School, Stourbridge.
Flag of East Anglia.svg 1900 Flag of East Anglia [40] The arms ascribed to the Wuffingas dynasty of East Anglia, three crowns on a blue shield, superimposed on a St George's cross.
Flag of Mercia (2014).svg 2014 Flag of Mercia The arms ascribed to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia; a gold saltire (diagonal cross) against a dark blue field. Appearing on John Speed's 1610 Atlas of Great Britain as the emblem of Mercia during the heptarchy and subsequently also used by the town of Saint Alban's. Most example of its use for Mercia were much darker than those for the town and the Flag Institute formalised this distinction in November 2014 by registering the anciently attested Mercian emblem.
ScillonianCross.svg Flag of the Isles of Scilly [41] The Scillonian Cross
South Uist flag.svg 2017 Flag of South Uist [42] A fimbriated Nordic cross in the pattern of Norway but with a green field.
FlagOfWessex.svg 1965 Flag of Wessex The arms ascribed to the West Saxon kingdom; a gold dragon (or heraldically a wyvern) on red. The gold wyvern appears on the Bayeux Tapestry.
Flag of the Isle of Wight.svg 2009 Flag of the Isle of Wight [43] A pale blue field with a nicked rhombus (a representation of the island's shape) and at the bottom six alternating bars wavy, navy blue and white.

Outside links

References