Staffordshire became the latest county to choose an alternative county flag… this time the flag isn’t new and hasn’t come from a competition. I suppose you could say the new flag is the same but different. The key thing in this vote for was for the county flag to become recognised officially.
For the flag to become official it involves discussions with the flag institute, who maintain the register of county flags and works with counties to create suitable designs. The counties themselves are generally based on historic counties of the UK.
The flag institute received two lead applications for new county flag one from the Staffordshire County Council and the other from the Staffordshire Heritage Group. Both entries were equally viable for use as a county flag. The meant the most appropriate method of reaching a decision was to give the people of Staffordshire the control by holding a small vote.
Voting was restricted to individuals who live or work in the historic county of Staffordshire only, hence voters were required to supply a postcode as a method of proving their eligibility. 825 votes were eventually submitted, of which only 784 were validated. This 784 were used to decide the fate of the new Staffordshire flag.
The Staffordshire Heritage Groups design was the victorious design, with an impressive 73% of the votes! This new flag has now been added to the flag registry. The Staffordshire County Council design will, of course, remain the Council’s own flag, as it is a banner of their arms.
The gold background and red chevron comes from the coat-of-arms of the de Stafford family and has been used in connection with the county since at least the 17th century. The knot is an ancient symbol of Staffordshire, used by many organizations, including the Staffordshire Regiment and Staffordshire Cricket.