County Flags of England, Scotland and Wales

Publication Date15th September 2024

Book FormatPaperback





The counties of Caernarfonshire, Middlesex, Banffshire, and Westmorland all still exist, despite continual local government reorganisations. Why does the county flag of Caernarfonshire feature three golden eagles?
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Unlike American states or German Länder, the counties of the United Kingdom have not uniformly borne distinctive flags. A few, such as Kent and Essex, have been associated with specific emblems for centuries which in the modern era have also appeared as flags. Certain territories of the United Kingdom however, with differing historical, cultural and linguistic legacies, have raised flags to mark themselves out as distinct and different. A Cornish flag has existed since at least the nineteenth century, and is considered to be a ‘national’ flag reflecting the status of the territory and its people as an assimilated Celtic land, rather than just one amongst many English counties. Nottinghamshire’s flag features Robin Hood – no surprise there – but why is he at the centre of England’s St George’s Cross? Because Nottinghamshire is located at the centre of England. Gloucestershire’s flag was registered in March 2008 and was the winning entry in a competition held by the High Sheriff of the county to commemorate the county’s millennium. The winner explains his design: ‘The green is representative of our rural county, the blue, the River Severn, and the yellow, Cotswold Stone.’

Today, more than fifty counties have their own flag. All of them are reproduced here. The stories behind the flag designs are a window into local history – and local pride.

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