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Discussion:

FAO BBC Somerset

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Message 1 - posted by EdSomerset, Jul 30, 2006

Hi,
About a month ago we were discussing starting a competition to design a flag for the historic county and this was posponded until after the World Cup.

Have there been any further developments?
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Message 2 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Jul 30, 2006

Plain yellow with light marbelling to represent a perfect and mature cheddar cheese. Mahe it round or any profile of a truckle for added authenticity and novelty.
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Message 3 - posted by EdSomerset, Jul 30, 2006

Sorry 'postponed'. :)
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Message 4 - posted by EdSomerset, Jul 30, 2006

That's interesting, why don't you send it in to BBC Somerset?

The same goes for any other posters; we can get the ball rolling.
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Message 5 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Jul 30, 2006

You guys sure take yourselves seriously!
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Message 6 - posted by EdSomerset, Jul 30, 2006

Who does? What do you mean?
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Message 7 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Jul 30, 2006

Maybe not you personally because so far this thread is easy going but in Devon we have had horrendous longterm experience of flag enthusiasts and bores.
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Message 8 - posted by EdSomerset, Jul 30, 2006

Oh God yes, THAT! Hopefully nothing like that will happen here.

I don't believe it will for two reasons.

1. The designs traditionally encorporated into Somerset flag designs don't look anything like the Cornish flag.

2. There are any political undertones here; in Devon the whole thing got blown into an argument about Devon trying to impersonate Cornwall.

Nope, this is all about having something that unites Somerset as a county, even if it's still in bits.
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Message 9 - posted by Somerset Host Think, Jul 31, 2006

Hi Ed,

There haven't been any further developments yet. Keep checking back on bbc.co.uk/somerset though! <magic>
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Message 10 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Aug 1, 2006

Would you incorporate the whole of pre-1974 Somerset when considering the design or just the current county, excluding the BANES and North Somerset unitary authorities?

If the former such things as the Bath Oliver or Weston Grand Pier might have a place in any Somerset flag design. Or even the modern control tower at Bristol Airport.

I always thought that Somerset had a de facto flag design anyway in the baby dragon or whatever it is.

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Message 11 - posted by EdSomerset, Aug 4, 2006

Would you incorporate the whole of pre-1974 Somerset when considering the design or just the current county, excluding the BANES and North Somerset unitary authorities?

If the former such things as the Bath Oliver or Weston Grand Pier might have a place in any Somerset flag design. Or even the modern control tower at Bristol Airport.

I always thought that Somerset had a de facto flag design anyway in the baby dragon or whatever it is.


Quoted from this message



There are three definitions of the county of Somerset: the historic or traditional county, the ceremonial county and the post-1974 administrative county covered by Somerset County Council.
The first two include BANES and North Somerset, but the latter doesn't.
The dragon flag is only the flag of Somerset County Council and therefore does not include the Unitary Authorities.

My plan is to have a flag for the entire pre-1974 county, as a symbol of unity.
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Message 12 - posted by EdSomerset, Aug 4, 2006

I personally would like to see the red dragon form at least a part of the new flag, as there would be a sense of continuity and familiarity there.


An administrative authority, such as Somerset County Council, does not define the borders of a geographical county, so apart from the period from 1974 to '96, BANES and North Somerset are in Somerset and have been since the 9th century.

Or to put it another way; there never was an Avon County Cricket Club, nor are there BANES and North Somerset County Cricket Clubs.

I would be happy for Somerset to go back to having a single county council covering the whole county, perhaps with seperate authorities for Bath and Weston-Super-Mare to replace the existing unitary authorities. If the creation of a flag for the whole county inspires people to call for that, then that's fine with me, but this is a patriotic statement rather than a political one. As long as Somerset has a symbol to bind us together as a county, then I am quite happy.

For further information on the definition of traditional, ceremonial and administrative counties, look up Somerset on Wikipedia.


Look up the Somerset Flag Forum for the history behind the County Council's flag.
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Message 13 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Aug 5, 2006

I was born in and spent the first twenty years of my life living in pre-1974 Somerset - just to the south of the current Bristol Airport - and I went to school at Weston-super-Mare.

For the past forty-two years my home has been in Bristol. I actually live in a part of Bristol that was Somerset fields prior to the 1960s.

Indeed, much of Bristol includes areas that were once in historic Somerset or historic Gloucestershire, some as recently as post WW II; Bishopsworth for instance, and Bedminster was a Somerset town until the late 19th Century.

Had Bristol's municipal 'land grab' continued (as it has done in many large towns and cities) places like Keynsham and Long Ashton would probably be now within the city boundary.

However, for some reason, unlike a lot of other cities, Bristol's boundaries have not expanded for forty-odd years.

Your cricketing comment is interesting because the River Avon is usually regarded as the boundary between Gloucestershire and Somerset in cricketing matters (another measure of what is Somerset? :)), and Somerset CCC has played home first-class matches in Bristol at Broad Walk, Knowle and at the old Imperial Ground at Brislington, as well as Sunday League games at the Imperial and Ironmould Lane, Brislington, the last one at the Imperial as recently as 1979.

Incidentally, Gloucestershire CCC has its headquarters in Bristol of course which is not in Gloucestershire, despite some scholars' assertions that Bristol is still part of traditional Gloucestershire for ceremonial purposes even though the city has its own Lord Lieutenant. Prior to its regaining county status in 1996 didn't have and the L-L of Gloucestershire used to stand in.

All this makes defining a county somewhat inexact, whatever model is taken.

If Bristol is really part of ceremonial Gloucestershire what does that make former Somerset towns and villages now within the city such as Bedminster and Brislington Village?


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Message 14 - posted by EdSomerset, Aug 7, 2006

That is a conundrum; I think we'll have to stick to the pre-1974 boundaries. If anyone in places which are now in Bristol wishes to fly the flag, then I don't see that being a problem. It's a free country.
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Message 15 - posted by kernowphil, Aug 7, 2006

Counties across England are adopting flags which I think all adds to local colour and should be celebrated.

It really does depress me that the vocal Cornish "nationalist" minority get's so worked up about Devon having a flag. Once they get word of the Somerset project they'll be at it again I'm sure.

Good for Devon and good for Somerset. Just stay clear of arguments about ancient Britons, marauding West Saxons and the independence of the Stannaries if you know what's good for you !
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Message 16 - posted by EdSomerset, Aug 8, 2006

Counties across England are adopting flags which I think all adds to local colour and should be celebrated.

It really does depress me that the vocal Cornish "nationalist" minority get's so worked up about Devon having a flag. Once they get word of the Somerset project they'll be at it again I'm sure.

Good for Devon and good for Somerset. Just stay clear of arguments about ancient Britons, marauding West Saxons and the independence of the Stannaries if you know what's good for you !

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I get the impression that a lot of Cornish nationalists view anything east of the Tamar as a big grey blob called England. Any attempt by neighbouring counties at individualism might make Cornwall look like just another English county, so these particular nationalists say that Cornwall is the only county with its own identity.

Luckily Somerset doesn't have tin mines, so arguements over Stannary Parliaments won't be in the picture!
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Message 17 - posted by TheLocalYokel, Aug 9, 2006

Ed

Somerset is a great place in which to live, work or visit, and I am sure that most true Somerset people now residing in B&NES and North Somerset unitary authorities believe they still put their head on the pillow in Somerset.

A few lines drawn on a map by politicians and bureaucrats won't alter people's deeply-held feelings.

BTW, we get a lot of letters addressed to Bristol, Avon despite that county ceasing to exist ten years ago. We also get the occasional one addressed Bristol, Somerset, so perhaps there are some people with long memories who recall the land where we now live used to be in the cider county. <ok> I can never remember getting one addressed Bristol, Gloucestershire.

Please keep us up to date on here with any flag developments.
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Message 18 - posted by EdSomerset, Aug 9, 2006

Will do. :)
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Message 19 - posted by EdSomerset, Aug 15, 2006

Hi Ed,

There haven't been any further developments yet. Keep checking back on bbc.co.uk/somerset though! <magic>

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How is the Flag feature coming along? I'm quite excited by the prospect!

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Message 20 - posted by EdSomerset, Aug 15, 2006

Counties across England are adopting flags which I think all adds to local colour and should be celebrated.

It really does depress me that the vocal Cornish "nationalist" minority get's so worked up about Devon having a flag. Once they get word of the Somerset project they'll be at it again I'm sure.

Good for Devon and good for Somerset. Just stay clear of arguments about ancient Britons, marauding West Saxons and the independence of the Stannaries if you know what's good for you !

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I read a letter in the Western Morning News called "Why Does Devon Need a Flag?", saying that it isn't a country (as if that was a requirement) and that the Devon flag looks like the Cornish national flag. The writer hoped that the situation would change in a few years, i.e. the Devon flag will be no longer used.

A case in point.

Hopefully the final design of the Somerset flag will look nothing like the Cornish one, so they'll be no arguments.
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