Highlands & Islands

Barra flag recognition 'could boost economy'

Barra flag meeting Image copyright .
Image caption A public meeting on the flag proposal was said to have generated a "positive" response

Campaigners have said the official recognition of the Barra flag could boost the island's identity.

The next stage in the process would be to apply to the Lyon Court to have the design recorded.

MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Alasdair Allan said he hoped a formal petition to the Lord Lyon would be made.

Philip Tibbetts of the Flag Institute, who recently visited Barra, said he was "very impressed" to see the flag being supported locally.

The white cross on a green background is said to have widespread use on Barra already, although it is not legally recognised.

Mr Allan said: "It is great to see the local community in Barra showing interest in this idea.

"Ultimately, it's up to the people of Barra themselves what they want to do next.

"The feeling at the initial meeting that I hosted was that recognition of the flag would help boost the island's marketing efforts as well as celebrate its unique identity."

Image caption The flag is already used but not officially recognised

He added: "There is already widespread use of Barra's flag, which can already be seen flying from fishing boats, on local produce and on car stickers.

"I look forward to seeing how people in Barra want to take this forward, and hope it will lead to a formal petition being made to the Lord Lyon. I believe Barra's flag can help boost the area's identity and economy."

Mr Tibbetts, who is the community vexillologist for the Flag Institute, has talked to local people about the process of gaining official recognition.

He said: "I was very pleased that the idea was received so positively and look forward to supporting further progress.

"I was also very impressed to see how well the flag is already used around the island - whether that was in the Barra & Vatersay Bunting Project, car bumper stickers and especially as a 'Made in Barra' sticker in the local shops."

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