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29 October 2014
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So Somerset

Ed Woods
Ed Woods and his Somerset flag idea

Does Somerset need its own flag?

A man from Langport thinks a new flag is needed to unite the historic County of Somerset. What do you think?

Ed Woods from Langport says he doesn't mind if people consider him "a touch eccentric" because of his campaign for a flag for Somerset.

"In the great scheme of things it does not rank very highly," he says.

"But if you consider what a flag actually is and what it stands for, then perhaps it is something more than a mere decoration."

Slip-up

"A lot of people are not happy about this post-Avon limbo and long for Somerset to be reunited."
Ed Woods

Many people in Somerset fly a flag bearing a red dragon holding a mace. Mr Woods says they are wrong if they think it is the county's flag.

"It is a popular misconception that the County of Somerset is the area administrated by Somerset County Council, and that the two unitary authorities of Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset constitute counties in their own right.

"They are both in actual fact part of the ceremonial and historic County of Somerset.

"As Somerset County Council's boundaries extend no further than the Mendips, the current Somerset flag means as much for people living in Bath or Congresbury as it would for them to fly the Devon or Cornwall flag.

"A lot of people are not happy about this post-Avon limbo and long for Somerset to be reunited."

Support

Mr Woods has written to Rt Hon David Heath MP (the MP for Somerton and Frome) and Lady Elizabeth Gass (the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset), who are supporting his idea.

In his reply, Mr Heath says: "When I was leader of the County Council, I made it a requirement that the county flag was flown outside County Hall each day.

"I have a great deal of sympathy for what you say."

But the Somerton and Frome MP believes the symbol would have to be made available to the Lord Lieutenancy for it to unite the historic County of Somerset.

Yet Lady Gass says there is no Lord Lieutenant's flag specifically for Somerset.

"A Union Jack was passed to me, with a small badge in the centre, but this is the same for all Lord Lieutenants anywhere in the country.

"The dragon always seems to me to be rather a fine symbol."

Symbol

Ed Woods has come up with his own design for the Somerset flag, which you can see in the image at the top of the page.

"It has the cross of St Aldhelm - a famous local saint who built Sherborne Abbey, did various good work in Somerset (especially around Frome) and died at Doulting.

"I've superimposed that on the Somerset dragon - without Somerset County Council's mace - and set the whole thing on a blue background.

"I thought the blue could represent the sea with which Somerset has always had strong connections."

You can send your Somerset flag ideas to the following e-mail address:

You can comment on the idea of a Somerset flag on the message board:

Semi-Somerset signs

  • When Somerset County Council planned to change the design of its red dragon back in 1999, many local residents were breathing fire!
  • On the subject of dragons, North Somerset Council's looks to the right, not the left - apparently this means it is "forward-looking" - and is often seen coloured yellow.
  • Bath and North East Somerset Council, meanwhile, has a star made out of blue and green triangles as its logo.
last updated: 18/08/06
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