The new Dorset flag - Saint Wite's Cross
Dorset's new flag
The people of Dorset have cast their vote and a flag for the county has been chosen. The St Wite's Cross will now preside over public buildings as the new Dorset flag.
In a poll 54% of the vote opted for the white cross, with a red border on a golden background following a competition run by Dorset County Council to find a new flag. With help from the Flag Institute, a centre for research and documentation for flags and flag information, four designs were short-listed and these were put to the public vote.
More than 2,086 people voted for the St Wite's Cross, with the next most popular design winning just 856 votes or 22%.
The idea for the St Wite's cross came from Dorchester resident Dave White and a former county resident Steve Coombes who now lives in Sweden.
Wimborne Town Crier Chris Brown
There were several inspirations for the design. The golden colour represents the Wessex Dragon, which is golden in colour. Dorset County Council's coat of arms is predominantly gold and red as are the colours of the former Dorset Regiment. Other links include two local landmarks Gold Hill and Golden Cap and Dorset's golden beaches.
One of the flag's biggest supporters is Wimborne's Town Crier Chris Brown. He said, "There are lots of golden things about the flag. When you look up at the flag on a gray day, it really cheers the soul... It (the flag) represents the sunny disposition of the folk of Dorset."
Saint Wite was a local saint and is said to be buried at Whitchurch Canonicorum near Bridport. She worked tirelessly for the local community but was killed during a Viking attack in 831AD.
Campaigning for the four designs has been fierce which has been reflected in the high turnout at the election. Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist (flag expert) with the Flag Institute said, "Votes have been coming in thick and fast, both hard copies and emails. It's exciting to see that so many people support the idea of a Dorset flag."
Unlike all its neighbouring counties Devon, Cornwall and Wiltshire, Dorset didn't have its own flag and previous attempts to create one had come to nothing.
With the prospect of Dorset receiving international attention because of the sailing events of 2012 Olympics, the time seemed right to promote the idea of a flag again.
It's hoped the flag will be particularly predominant on St Wite's Day, June 1st which could turn into a county wide celebration.
500 St Wite's Cross flags have been sold
500 St Wite's flags have been sold so far and it's likely sales will now increase further.
Chris Brown said, "A county having its own identity is a thing that people enjoy and want more of so I think it's a good thing. I wouldn't say it should superceed the other flags of our great nation, the Union flag and the flag of St George... It helps pull the county together. If you go down to Devon and Cornwall you see their flags everywhere."
last updated: 17/09/2008 at 12:31
Have Your Say
Did you vote for the St Wite's Cross? What do you think of it? Have your say.
lesley ross of worldflagshop
The Gorse family
David & Jan Kirkpatrick