Final designs flag up Black Country’s rich heritage

After weeks of work and more than 60 entries, these are the shortlisted finalists in the running to create an official flag for the Black Country.

After weeks of work and more than 60 entries, these are the shortlisted finalists in the running to create an official flag for the Black Country.

The region is enjoying a bumper year thanks to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Torch relay – no better time to create a flag to honour its proud past and bright future.

Click on the image to the right to see the designs in more detail

The winning design will be flown at the Black Country Living Museum in time for the Olympics and will be added to the Flag Institute’s UK Flag Registry.

A total of 66 entries were made in the competition and members of the public are now being asked to cast their vote for the strongest of the six finalists. There is a deadline of July 6 to make the all-important votes.

The 66 entries were shortlisted by a panel of judges, including representatives from the Flag Institute, the Black Country Living Museum, the Black Country Society, University of Wolverhampton Visual Communications Department and the Express and Star. The winner will be announced on July 14.

The finalists are Redhill School pupils Gracie Sheppard, Aimee Potter and Marnie Bond; Samuel Bhella from St Stephen’s CofE Primary School in Wolverhampton; Rozwan Jamil from Smethwick’s Shireland Collegiate Academy; and Michelle Inston from Wolverhampton. The Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee is encouraging communities and regions to develop their own flags this year to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

Bosses at the Black Country Living Museum said they were looking for a design that will “wave the banner for the region’s unique identity, and its rich and diverse heritage”.

Philip Tibbetts, adviser to the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee, added: “I am really pleased to see the Black Country Living Museum championing the whole region with this competition.”

In preparation for the contest, the museum held design workshops and history trails to help people get inspired. All of the finalists said colours had played a huge part in the design process.

Michelle said: “My design uses green, black and white. I have used the black line through the middle to symbolise a seam of coal and the industries this helped to establish across the Black Country.”

Aimee meanwhile said: “I have used a gold background to symbolise the metal industries that the Black Country famous. I have used the strong image of chains, again to symbolise the industry.”

Rizwan added: “I have used the colours black and red and the flame effects to represent the time when the Black Country was black by day and red by night.”

Gracie said she was inspired by the famous quote of Elihu Burrit, the American Consul to Birmingham who referred to the famous furnaces of the region churning out black smoke by day and glowing red at night.

Marnie also used black to represent industry smoke and Samuel used blue for the region’s canals and yellow for sandstone.

By Elizabeth Joyce

Comments for: "Final designs flag up Black Country’s rich heritage"

Subjective

Some interesting designs, although I don't personally like chains because to me they symbolize (economic) slavery. A type that continues to this day.

mark

^^ What a daft response. Nothing at all to do with the massive chain making industry in the black country.

Mark

Dude! Let it go. Chains represent everything good about a Black Country that we should be very, very proud of, this shouldn't be about "issues" they should be left to politicians and middle class house wives with nothing better to do. Be Black Country and be proud, locks and chains amongst other things made us great.

handymanchris

thought it was called the black country because of all the foundries? aren't chains made by a black smith and not a foundry? correct me if im wrong.

Kenelm

The name comes from either smoke from all the fires (foundaries, blacksmiths and cottage industries) or from the outcropping of the coal seam

Baggie9

Don't like the gold and black designs,the represents Wolverhampton which isn't in the Black Country.

Massive Bart

How low can you stoop?

Kenelm

Really great idea and impressive designs - some talented kiddies there! People should stop adding meaning from their own political or sporting baggage.

Personally 2 is my favourite - simple, bold and gives the area an emblem (like the rose of Lancashire). 5 and 6 push it close though.

geoff

I wud ave thought a berson of gray pays would just abart sum up the black country.

JIWAL

3. Only a lamebrain could up with such a comment when 66 people made the effort to submit excellent proposals.Go crawl back under your rock

Good luck to whomever wins, all fine drawings, I wouldn;t be able to choose