Flying the flag for Black Country

Engineer Philip Tibbetts is flying the flag for the Black Country – by creating a standard he hopes will put the region on the official map. The 23-year-old has designed the unique flag to help the region achieve official recognition.

Phillip Tibbetts with his flag and coat of armsEngineer Philip Tibbetts is flying the flag for the Black Country – by creating a standard he hopes will put the region on the official map. The 23-year-old has designed the unique flag to help the region achieve official recognition.

The engineering project manager, who indulges in a spot of graphic design in his spare time, has also designed a coat of arms and tartan-style plaid pattern. Mr Tibbetts’s efforts will add weight to the campaign, which has been launched by Lynda Waltho, the MP for Stourbridge.

She recently tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling for the Black Country to finally be recognised by the Ordnance Survey.

The Black Country is said to have gained its name in the mid-19th century from the smoke from the many thousands of ironworking foundries and forges. Other theories mention the abundance of coal in the region.

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce describes the region as the four boroughs of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell.

Mr Tibbetts’ black, red and yellow flag is divided by a diagonal cross taken from the ancient Mercian flag and features a chain to represent the heavy industry which used to dominate the area.

The four arms of the cross represent the four boroughs of the Black Country and the flag’s motto is ‘Black by day and red by night’. Mr Tibbetts, who grew up in Halesowen but is now based in Preston, said he hoped the designs would boost pride in the area.

“I really enjoy graphic design and history and heraldry is like a combination of the two,” he said.

“I discovered other counties such as Derbyshire and Lincolnshire were designing their own flags which started me thinking about doing one for the Black Country.

“I’ve spent the last five years studying and working away from the area which made me realise how much we’ve got to be proud of here and just how little people know about us.

“I’m hoping in a few years to see it flying alongside the Union flag and European flag on council buildings.”

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Comments for: "Flying the flag for Black Country"


Heraldry in all but name - brilliant !!!

PJW Holland

another project to cost thousands and thousands with no point. Bound to be accepted then.

Meanwhile the most productive way to promote the various boroughs in an around the former Black Country is to stop mentioned that ugly borough to the South East. If you say you are near (fill in the name) then businesses will say "If being near (fill in the name) is desirable then surely we should be IN (fill in the name).

Never mention the competition in your sales material.

Adam Thompson

Well i think Mr or Mrs Holland simple has no pride in the blackcountry. I think this is a fantastic idea. It is true that its only untill you leave the Black Country you romanticise about the place, because it is jus so everyday and grounded. The Black Country needs to recognised its pride in ones city or county that puts it on the map. Liverpool,Manchester,Glasgow perfect examples of these.


It's nice to see a young person with an interest in their heritage. Good effort!

Manx Shearwater

This seems like an excellent idea.

Well done to Mr Tibbetts for all his hard work!





Excellent idea and love the motto - Living outside the black country it would be great to have an emblem to show my roots! Im proud of where i come from are yao?


The black country used to be a place to be proud of, manufacturers as far as the eye could see. I wouldn't waste my time creating a coat of arms for the area these days even though the moto may be correct.

W Chavdary

I applaud this idea and, given my interest in heraldry, am tempted to modernise the flag for my home

city of Leeds - to make it more contemporary and more representative of the street culture which we

purvey. Anyway, well done Mr Tibbetts! It's a shame all young people of today do not share your



This has truely inspired and rekindled my interest in heraldry! Have you any suggestions as to where i can can find more information on Heraldry and of its history and origins?

Ivar Biggon

I agree with Mr/Miss Pifreelie. This heraldry malarky truly is a dying tradition and deserved to be

revived. well done Mr Tibbets for an outstanding flag. As a famous and wise lyricist once said...

Crank Dat.


Chunky La Funga

I like heritage, i like royalty....actually im quite into heraldy at the moment.

A Big Well Done Phillip


Mr/ Mrs Biggon got it spot on by summing up the achievements of Mr. Tibbet with the critially acclaimed lyric "crank dat". Its a shame Heraldry is not a part of the GSCE Curriculum as i feel such a art could significantly influence the behaviour of todays ill disciplined youth. Apologise for the harsh language but as a Heraldry fan myself, I feel very passionately about this fading trade!

Mr/ Mrs Chunky, i totally agree with your comment, but on a personal note.... i like painting, i like drawing.....actually im quite into fat chicks, i mean heraldry at the moment.

L Cotterill

Great idea and design. Would indeed be good to see it flying on buildings throughout the Black Country. Bostin!