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28 October 2014

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You are in: Devon > History > History features > The story of the Devon flag

The Devon flag

Flying proudly - the Devon flag

The story of the Devon flag

In 2004, users of the BBC Devon website voted on a flag for Devon. Since then, the black, green and white flag has become a symbol of pride throughout in the county.

It's hard to believe, when you see so many black, green and white Devon flags flying proudly right across the county, that it only became a reality in 2004.

The Devon flag emerged out of a debate right here on the BBC Devon website.

The debate culminated in a web-based poll, which led to the shortlist of around a dozen designs submitted by Devonians both at home and abroad.

Many of the designs used the traditional Devon colours of black, green and white.

The result of the first vote was so close that a second poll was carried out to remove any doubt.

The most favoured design topped both the original BBC Devon poll and the follow-up shortlist vote, and was designed by BBC Devon contributor Ryan Sealey.

The design received 49% of the total votes cast in the final count.

The Devon flag (WMN)

Flying the flag at County Hall (Western M News)

Bob Burns, a Devonian now living in North Lincolnshire, is one of those who started the original debate.

"I have long thought that Devon should have its own flag, to act as a symbol of pride for the people of Devon," said Bob.

"Devonians are only too aware of the ubiquitous Cornish flag, which can often be seen in the form of car bumper stickers, on vehicles entering Devon from Cornwall.

"Until now, there has been no way that Devonians could similarly express their pride in their own County of Devon."

Bob added: "When Devonians were given the opportunity of selecting a flag for Devon, they voted in their hundreds and chose a design which all Devonians should be proud of."

The group promoting the new flag contacted the Flag Institute, which is one of the world's main research and documentation centres for flags. It collects and provides all kind of flag information, from past and present, from all over the world.

Since those early days, the flag has really taken off. It is flown from County Hall in Exeter, at the Devon County Show each year, and the Devon rugby team also has the flag on their shirts.

And all over Devon, you can see the flags flying in gardens, and on car stickers.

The Chief Executive of South West Tourism, Malcolm Bell, said a flag for Devon re-enforces the strong regional identity.

"It gives the idea that somewhere is special, and it gives the feeling of a sense of place. It says that this is a place that's proud of where it is and is proud of itself."

last updated: 07/02/2008 at 17:13
created: 24/05/2005

You are in: Devon > History > History features > The story of the Devon flag

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