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Gloucestershire (England)

Traditional English County

Last modified: 2020-09-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: united kingdom | gloucestershire |
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[Gloucestershire] image by André Coutanche, 4 July 2008
The Severn Cross Flag


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Introduction: Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire, or "Glos" as it is locally known, is a county in South West England. It is bordered by seven counties: Herefordshire in the northwest, Wiltshire in the south, Bristol and Somerset in the southwest, Worcestershire in the north, Oxfordshire in the east, Warwickshire in the northeast, and the Welsh county of Monmouthshire in the west.
Gloucestershire, as a historic county mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the 10th century, does not have the same geographical boundaries as the historic county and is much smaller. Over the years chunks of it were curved off, Warwickshire in 1931, and to the new county of Avon (which ceased to exist 1996 by the Local Government Act in 1972). After 1996, both the city of Bristol, whose population growth had begun to accelerate during the industrial revolution transforming it into an important commercial port city, and the area of South Gloucestershire became separate unitary authorities. South Gloucestershire is now only a part of the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire.
Today the county town (or county seat) is the city of Gloucester. Other important towns include those of Cheltenham, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, Dursley, Cinderford, and Lydney. (source)
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020


Description of the Flag

The blue represents the River Severn flowing into the heart of the county, the green is for the countryside and the cream for Cotswold Stone. The Gloucestershire flag, designed by Jeremy Bentall, was the winning entry in a competition held by the county's former High Sheriff Jonathan Carr, to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the county's existence. When he discovered he had won Jeremy, a mental health worker, from Hucclecote, said: "I was initially very surprised but equally delighted and quite proud. The remit from the High Sheriff was to keep things as simple and traditional as possible and that's what I tried to do. It was great to see the flag hoisted. The rain stayed off and there was even a bit of wind." The final decision was made by Mr. Carr with the help of his wife Daphne. The couple attended the flag's official launch at a ceremony at Shire Hall, on Tuesday. Mrs. Carr said: "It was a clear, simple design. When we opened the envelope containing the design we both looked at it and said this is the winner. When we took it to a top flag designer in London they picked it out straight away as well. We had a thousand entries and many were from children. They were more like drawings of old spot pigs and cheese rolling, which were beautiful in their own right but not as strong."

The current High Sheriff, Brian Thornton, said: "The Gloucestershire flag is a most appropriate design, combining the green of the Golden Valley, the blue of the River Severn and the gold of Cotswold Stone. I shall be flying it whenever I can at home and I hope other Gloucestershire residents with a flag pole will be doing the same."

Sue Raison, of Gloucestershire County Council, was in charge of getting the flag produced. She said: "It was made by a company in London. We sponsored the first batch of flags to be produced and we are hosting an exhibition in Shire Hall of the winner and the 80 best entries. We've had 30 made and they have gone out to partner organisations such as the district councils, and the University of Gloucestershire."
Source: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/latestnews/Gloucestershire-s-new-flag-launched/article-203518-detail/article.html#continueNews
Chrystian Kretowicz, 3 July 2008

The comments on the www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk page include very relevant reference to Greens of Gloucester, and their comment that "... to use a bespoke made apple green cloth for the field is going to cause all sorts of problems when they need replacing".
André Coutanche, 4 July 2008

Gloucestershire's flag was registered in March 2008 and was the winning entry in a competition held by the High Sheriff of the county, Jonathon Carr, to commemorate a millennium of the county's existence. It was designed by Jeremy Bentall from Hucclecote in the county, who described the flag thus: "The green is representative of our rural county, the blue, the River Severn and the yellow, Cotswold Stone."

  • Flag Type: County Flag
  • Flag Date: March 2008
  • Flag Designer: Jeremy Bentall
  • Adoption Route: High Sheriff
  • UK Design Code: UNKG7413
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:5
  • Pantone© Colours: Green 360, Cream 7402, Blue 300
Source: The Flag Institute Registry.
Valentin Poposki, 28 June 2020

Gloucestershire County Council Coat of Arms

[Gloucestershire Coat of Arms] image from Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020 (Heraldry of the World)

According to Heraldry of the World: "The three chevronels are taken from the ancient Coat of Clare, Earls of Gloucester. The golden fleeces are indicative of the wool industry. The horseshoes symbolise the ancient arms of the city of Gloucester...The demi lion and mural crown are taken from a crest said to have been granted in the Commonwealth period to the City of Gloucester...The motto Prorsum Semper means Ever Forward and is taken from the arms of the Allen family." The modern arms were officially granted on December 10, 1935.

Official Blazon
  • Arms: Per chevron Gules and Or in chief two Fleeces and in base three Chevronels counterchanged on a Chief of the second a Billet Azure between two Billets Vert each charged with a Horseshoe Gold.
  • Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours a demi Lion reguardant Gules gorged with a Mural Crown and resting the sinister paw upon a Horseshoe Or.
  • Motto: 'PRORSUM SEMPER' - Ever forward
Source: Heraldry of the World.
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

Old Gloucestershire County Council Flag
Commercial Flag

[Old Gloucestershire County Council Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

This armorial banner of the Gloucestershire County Council was commercially available and being sold as "The flag of Gloucestershire". However, it only represented the county council rather than the county as a whole. (source)
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020


William Crampton's Gloucestershire Proposal
Commercial Flag

[] image from Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

One further curiosity is a commercially available design, described as the Gloucestershire flag, which is neither the winner of the flag competition nor a banner of the council's arms. The porcine theme of the design features a rather fierce looking Gloucester "Old Spot" boar. It is interesting to note that the late William Crampton, whose design proposal this is, was the founder of the Flag Institute, which now manages the UK Flag registry. (source)
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020


Gloucester City District Flag

[] image by Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

This is the flag of the Gloucester City District of Gloucestershire. Today the town of Gloucester serves as the county county seat (county town) of Gloucestershire.
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020