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13 November 2014

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You are in: Dorset > Places > Places features > Dorset's new flag

The new Dorset flag - Saint Wite's Cross

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, waving the St Wite's Cross at Camp Bestival in July 2008

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."

Promoting Dorset

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.

St Wite's Cross

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
created: 18/04/2008

Have Your Say

Did you vote for the St Wite's Cross? What do you think of it? Have your say.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

lesley ross of worldflagshop
Fantastic flag modern and flies beautifully

I have the flag on the back of my VW van. It looks perfect next to those I have for Devon and Cornwall.

i was not given the opportunity despite spending all of my 67 yrs in the county,it is an insipid yellow ,no sign of gold in the ones i saw in wimborne

Nice Flag, shame about the sickly mustard colour. Green and gold would have been nice, with a map of Dorset in the middle or the corner.

Barrie Hampson
Is it possible to have made the smaller Flags in a better grade materiel? The ones at the moment are a bit flimsy

This flag is awe-inspiring, and is a perfect representation of the county that is Dorset.Very well done by Steve Coombs, who designed it; and to Dave White and all his colleagues who promoted it!

Matt F
Haven't needed a flag for the 9 generations my family have lived in Dorset. Don't need one now. Rubbish. Inward looking, wall building rubbish. Organisers could have spent their time better helping in the community. Never mind, I'm sure you're all enjoying patting yourselves on the back. Fly this flag with shame.

Isobel Tye
I like the idea that we have a Dorset flag it is great but the colours are disgusting and its a bit boring.

Ken Jeans
Awful,hadn't heard of vote or proposals,if thats the best how about a white one(surrender!)think I'll move to Hampshire!

The answers to questions about colours, green, blue etc can be found at competition and voting were run entirely by Dorset CC as was the "publicity" to encourage people to vote. Concerns about the lack of information should be answered by them.

"Mark WolffI thought Dorset already had a flag (white with 3 lions on it) please explain "That is the arms of Dorset County Council - not the Dorset flag."The Gorse familyWe did not know there was a vote. As a long-standing Dorset rate paying family, we feel extremely aggrieved. This flag appears to have been decided upon by the chosen few. Why was the vote not open to all Dorset residents via a postal vote? This flag is a joke. "It was. Read the press, it was everywhere for a month."ploppyDreadful; yellow is a cowards colour! "So the Royal arms of Scotland, flags of Germany, Spain, Romania, Belgium, Lithuania and Sweden are all cowardice are they?

Barry Quince
OK but would liked to have the map of Dorset in the centre,will you be able to fly the flag if you buy one.

Giles Vigar
I voted for it because it is a prominent design and follows an English theme. The colours in the other designs were too subdued.

It's a great flag for Dorset, however, the gold colour should be just that instead of the yellow colour that has been produced for public sale.

david stedeford
there are enough flags in the world already -this was a waste of time and money.

I like this flag. Yellow like the sun and red like the skin of the dorset people under the sun...

Dreadful; yellow is a cowards colour!

i been flying flag with pride over the last 5 months yours today and fly dorsets flag

Mark Wolff
I thought Dorset already had a flag (white with 3 lions on it) please explain

The Gorse family
We did not know there was a vote. As a long-standing Dorset rate paying family, we feel extremely aggrieved. This flag appears to have been decided upon by the chosen few. Why was the vote not open to all Dorset residents via a postal vote? This flag is a joke.

I like the idea for a flag for Dorset, but this design seems to just take the Devon cross idea (not another cross!), change the colours (which are horrible) and find an excuse for them - an obscure saint who doesn't mean anything to most Dorset people. I like someone's idea of the Cerne Abbas Giant on a green background. Dorset is a green county - but there are also the heathland - could purple be included somehow? How about an ammonite to represent the the coast, on a background of green and purple? I won't be flying this flag - it doesn't mean anything to me, and I hate the washed out colours.

I think the flags fine. Dorset isn't just about the Jurassic Coast. We are definitely in need of a flag though.

Look at most of the county flags and indeed the British union flag. They are heraldic - most people in country would probably want to get rid of the union flag, especially the government, as it is out date and doesn't represent modern Britain. So a Dorset saint (which as a Dorset born local I have been well aware for a long time), and the colours that are featured on the Dorset arms has more meaning, than the other contenders. The Dorset Cross gets my vote.

Excellent flag, quite different from but similar to the flags of Cornwall and Devon. It has a credibility that the other designs do not.

This flag is the best design, the others looking more like belonging to Caribbean islands than Dorset. I like the continuity with the Devon and Cornwall flags, but not overly sure about the colours. I would definately display a flag on my car, as I've always been proud of where i'm from.

lydia norton
It is great idea to have a dorset flag and the colours are really good and all but one design looks like and south indian flag, another looks like an african flag and the two look like some random wierd east european flag.Lydia age 10 from wimborne,i would choose the saints wites cross one personally i think it looks the nicest!

hugh ramsden
it looks a bit drab i think it should be a bit more intresting and actully have something to do with the county!

The proposed flag is more suited to being the flag on top of a first aid tent in the middle of a desert.The others belong more to a banana republic than a county in the U.K.What a pathetic selection on offer.

Mikka Pryor
The white cross is fine but the yellow looks awful, blue for the sky or green for the countryside.

The Design is definately too bland and boring. It does not in any way represent Dorset. It has yellow to represent the sun & sand but thats about it. I agree with others it should have something to do with the Jurassic Coast on it. I certainly wouldn't display this flag!

Philip Harris
I believe the flag represents both England and Dorset.

I much prefer the one with three horizontal colours, blue for sea, yellow for sand and green for countryside.

John Neimer
Dave White claims on another web site that this tea towel is already the last contender. I hope not, I agree with those who say that the whole exercise is a waste of time. But,if we must have one can it not be recongnisibly Dorset? An obscure Saxon saint that nobody has heard of is not good enough!I suggest the white Dorset lion couchant on a plain green background.

Good to have a Dorset flag but the yellow could be blue representing the sea.

Michael Becker
This looks to be the best flag to represent Dorset. Excellent!

Liz Scott
I think that the proposed St Wite's Cross says nothing about our beautiful county. Of all the 4 flags prposed I prefer the wavy one, but I think a Dorset flag should include something Jurrasic as well. Something strong and simple is what we need. Something to be proud of and have as a sticker on your car ! Cornwall's is great.

Arnold Coffer
Flag is probably a good idea within the context of tourism but - the awful yellow colour is not!

Dave White
Voting for a new Dorset flag has begun. There are four contenders. See The Flag Institute website for details. The above flag is one of them.

David Graham
My support goes to this design.

This flag is terrific.

Yer Dorset should have its own flag, think we need some more ideas for it though it might be a grower but to me Dorset is a green place.

I think it is great. i would buy it. It's simple and colourful. other counties have the cross why not dorset. The council's are slow to support good ideas so go ahead and do it.

I like the idea of a flag but this one looks naff!

Clive Brandreth
Flags!?! We don't need no flags!!?!!

Steve Smith
It's garbage.

Comment from abroad: A very nice flag, representing Dorset and its beauty very well! will go and get one!


Fantastic! At last a flag for Dorset! I'm not religious, but the fact it's Saint Wite, a DORSET person is more than ok with me. Let's stop moaning about it's religious overtones & endorse it. Then we can fly it as proudly as the Cornish or Devonians fly theirs.

David & Jan Kirkpatrick
Like the bright colors! With so many cloudy days, the flag will brighten up the countryside. We all should be very proud of Dorset. Flying the flag shows our pride in the countryside and celebrates the people who live there. It should be flown with the union jack as well.

scott, the union jack should be banned, st. georges all the way!!!!1

this idea and the flag is vile,feel sick just looking at it, no way should this be backed!!! union jack all the way for heavens sake

Why not have the Cerne Abbas Giant in the middle of a plain green flag. That'll get the county noticed!

Dave White
The good old Wyvern/Dragon is a symbol of Wessex, not Dorset exclusively. Plus you will see our flag is suggested to be named after a saint, not mandatorily.

Shaun Heals
A flag for Dorset, yes. The cross of St Wite or whatever christian demi-god it's meant to represent, NO! What's wrong with the good old Wyvern/Dragon?

Dave White
Sorry Zach - way to complex.Keith - last I checked, Dorset, like England was a Christian country. I haven't heard any complaints from ethnic communities either. People are free to interpret whatever they choose in the cross.

Zach Paton
Yes, i agree it doesnt have that dorset efect it should have the shield on it.try the shield should be like this.zach

Keith Lawson
Yes to a flag. No to one that use symbols of a single religious belief and ignores a multi-ethnic community in Dorset

Steve Smith
A simple flag as proposed is ideal and the colours as they are actually increase the impact the flag has on the eye. The only question I have is where can I get one to stick on the flag pole in my garden?

Ian Macavoy
Fantastic hope it comes off.this fantastic county needs its own flag and day.

Dave White
Neil Matthews - putting 'charges' as they are known on flags reduces impact, increases complexity and skyrockets the price. Flags should be simple enough for a child to draw. Besides, this is not an armorial banner, but a civic flag that should be as simple as possible as it will be used by many, in many places. Therefore, it needs to be cheap to reproduce. As discussed today with Dorset County Council, nothing is stopping people adding charges to a base flag after it is established for their own use.There is no Dorset shield. Are you referring to the County Council Arms? In which case you need their permission to add this. It does not represent all Dorset either.Mark D - tell your wife that flags are not meant to colour co-ordinate, they're supposed to clash in order to stand out!!

Neil Matthews
I like the cross but it alone does not say Dorset. I thnk it should have the Dorset shield in the middle.

tony brett
lets have the flag good idea

Mark D
Liked the idea of a Dorset flag for last few years... Devon and Cornwall have one and they are proud of theirs. So why not us!! As for the design - I'm not really taken with the yellow - maybe try either making it a paler Yellow/Gold or change the red for say Blue (My Missus says the Red and Yellow clash!). But hey, I just want a flag (Whatever the Design) to say i'm from Dorset and proud of it!!! And i'll be promoting the New Dorset Flag,George Cross and the Union Flag in equal meassure.

Cornwall= distinctive flag.Britanny= distinctive flag.Catalonia= distinctive flag.Corsica= distinctive flag.Dorset? why the heck not? it's a great flag and will promote local indentity. Get 'em stuck on your cars...

Liz White
Yes I'd be glad to support the idea of a 'Dorset Flag' I think the proposed design is appropriate for the county - its distinctive & would be seen clearly from a distance.To the critics I would say its easy to criticise when no-one has ever bothered to undertake a task of promoting an identity for Dorset.We should be glad that David White & his colleagues have made such an effort.

Matt Williams
The flag's great. Bright, sunny, sandy and cheerful, just the way Dorset is. It makes the neighbouring county flags look drab and mundane. I'd be proud to wave it.

YES, of course! Don't let your identity smothered. The flag flapping on every place it's so refreshing and beautiful. That flag represents people in Dorset so let's go ahead with it!

Stephen Coombs
To David Hopkins and William Clarke - if local authorities wish to use the flag, that's their choice and they're your elected representatives. The flag can work quite effectively without official backing if individuals choose to use it. I think they will. why should Dorset people be any less patriotic, or any stingier, than people in other counties nearby that do fly their local flags?To R Sherwood - I challenge you to name any flag ouside Britain and Northern europe that has the slightest resemblance to St. Wite's Cross!To BC - as a Dorsetman born a few yards from the sea I sympathise with your comment, but you can't get everything into a flag. Light blue instead of yellow would look like an RAF symbol. And light blue is Cambridge's colour - ugh!

good idea, bad design

c potter
this flag is just another attempt to destroy the british identity.

Pete Radley
Instead of the gold/mustard (I agree Fiona) how about alternate blue and green to represent the sea and fields respectively?

Dave White
David Hopkins - the flag has nothing to do with the County Council - who should be spending money on those things. Private sponsors are getting this idea up and running.William Clarke - everyone I know wants a flag and the masses of people at our website seem to agree.

Big G
In answer to the 'it's a waste of money' moaners. The campaign is run by a not for profit organisation and is not funded by the council but by private sponsorship. Any profit made through this will go to Dorset based projects. So in fact it will have a positive impact on the county. In my book that is a 'big blooming deal' so stop whingeing. I don't know what Dorsetness is either but I think it might have something to do with having a positive outlook and enjoying this beautiful place we live in. Well done to the guys who've been involved with this it's a great idea!

andy head
Yellow of sand, red of cider flushed cheek and white of cloud, wave and moon.You can all say what you like. We're having it and that's that, I'm off to get a job lot made up.

Cass Jackson
Dorset DESERVES its own flag.

David Hopkins
What a waste of time and money. Let's open a few more schools or hospital wings, let's make the roads safer, let's get more Police on the streets instead of hiding behind bushes with speed guns, let's get more teachers in the class-rooms and more kids off the streets, etc. A flag would have no impact on any of the above.

William Clarke
I've lived in Dorset for years and the idea of 'Dorset-ness' is just a silly as Britishness. Seems to me this idea is a waste of money and is quite meaningless. I can't think of one person who cares about if we have our own flag, big blooming deal.

R Sherwood
It looks like a flag from a 'banana republic'.Must do a lot better!

I think it is wonderful, distinctive and different. Who's Afear'd!

Ian Robertson
Excellent idea and a stunning design. Best way to promote a sense of belonging and may even be a source of revenue to communities in the sale of souvenirs.

I think the proposed flag looks great and the golden background is especially appropriate for the county.

I like the idea of a flag, but not to keen on the present one. The design is fine, but that yellowish part is not that nice. How about a light blue resembeling the water that is all around us.

I think this flag is really cool but I would make the yellow more golden because it is a bit mustard-y!

This is a great idea! It'll look lovely flapping away at village fetes and on top of sea-side sandcastles.

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