Press release

New guide for communities to design their own flags

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new guide from the Flag Institute on designing flags to increase civic pride: Yorkshire Ridings lead the way.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has today (22 August 2013) praised the Flag Institute for their new guide for communities to design their own flags and the Department for Communities and Local Government is now flying the nation’s newest flags in Whitehall.

The new guide from the Flag Institute, with a foreword from the Secretary of State, outlines how community groups, councils, sports clubs and other organisations can design and register an official flag.

The government has relaxed the rules on flying flags without official permission, enabling communities to express their pride in local identities, heritage and traditions without falling foul of petty bureaucracy. The Flag Institute’s new guidance encourages communities to go one step further and create their own flags.

The North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, designed by members of the public, are being proudly displayed alongside the Union flag outside Eland House, the London offices of the Department for Communities and Local Government. The North Ridings flag is being flown on 22 August while the East Ridings flag will fly on 24 August.

Mr Pickles said:

As a proud Yorkshireman, I’m delighted to see my compatriots in the Ridings are renewing their sense of local pride with these newly designed flags. These new designs are absolutely great.

This proves that your sense of belonging can’t be wiped out by a bureaucrat’s pen stroke on a map. The new guide from the Flag Institute, the UK’s national flag charity, will lead to many more local flags being designed and registered and I look forward to flying them on the streets of Whitehall.

Charles Ashburner, Chief Executive of the Flag Institute said:

Mr Pickles has done more to champion the rights of ordinary people to fly flags than any minister before him. His work in this area has been about democracy rather than politics, and the Flag Institute is proud to play its part in changing the flag landscape of Great Britain for the better.

Our new guide to creating local and community flags is available free of charge to everyone.

A spokesman for the East Riding Society said:

The East Riding of Yorkshire Society is delighted to see the new East Riding flag flying today from the Department for Communities and Local Government building, Eland House, London in celebration of the second East Riding Day and the cultural heritage of the East Riding. Today is indeed a historic day for all East Riding folk.

Further information

The Flag Institute’s guide to designing and registering your own local flag can be found on their website.

The flags of the North and East Ridings were the winners in public competitions. The North Riding flag was designed by Jason Saber from Kent. The winning design of the East Riding flag competition was designed by Trevor and Thomas Appleton (a father and son), from Kirkburn, East Riding.

The motivation behind the competitions was to reaffirm the Riding’s distinct status as entities in their own right, despite the territories being administered by various different local authorities and to signal that distinct status, with distinct Ridings flags.

All 3 Yorkshire Ridings are a thousand years old, with an origin in the era of the Viking settlement around York in the ninth century. The term “riding” originally a “thriding”, is derived from the old Norse “thrithjungr” meaning a third part. With individual courts and lieutenancies the Ridings functioned as de facto counties and were each accordingly awarded a separate council in 1889. In 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972 the North Riding ceased to be used as an administrative area.

Image above by Jason Saber used under Creative Commons.

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