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Cumberland Flag registered.

The Cumberland Flag was officially registered as the county’s flag on December 13th 2012, becoming the 26th British county flag. The design is a re-working of the banner of Arms of the former Cumberland County Council. Granted in 1950, the pattern symbolises the coast line, mountains, fells and famous lakes with the blue and white wavy lines, whilst the green upper half with Grass-of-Parnassus flowers recalls the marshy up-lands and fertile plains of the county.
As well as being used as the arms of the former county council the design has continued to be flown, albeit unofficially, within the county. It is also used by many bodies to represent the traditional county, appearing in the logos of Cumberland County Cricket, Cumberland Football Association and in combination with the Westmorland arms in the logo of Cumbria RFU.
For registration the Flag Institute’s Chief Vexillologist, Graham Bartram, requested that the Grass-of-Parnassus flowers were drawn to be both obviously recognisable and stylistically appropriate, rather than the generic looking flowers from the grant of arms. This was done by vexillographer Philip Tibbetts of Penrith, who used an image of a real Cumbric flower to achieve a realisation that is both obviously a Grass-of-Parnassus and as iconic as the heraldic rose.
The colours of the final design were chosen to be the best matches in acceptable flag colours to the former council arms. An additional benefit of this is that the green matches that found in the Welsh flag, thus providing an extra element of symbolism as the name Cumberland derives from ‘Cymru-land’, or ‘land of the Welsh’.
The Historic Counties Trust successfully sought support for the concept and design from a wide range of local institutions representing communities within the county, the county itself or bodies covering a wider area but keen to have the only remaining historic county within their remit achieve a registered flag. These include: Cockermouth and District Civic Trust, Cumberland Agricultural Society, Cumberland Football Association, Cumberland Geological Society, Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian Society, Federation of Cumbrian Amenity Societies, Holme Low Parish Council, Lakeland Dialect Society, Penrith Civic Society, Workington and District Civic Trust and the Workington Twinning Association.
Having the design registered will see a validation for those people already flying the design around the county. Plus it should help to encourage more people to fly the design and express their pride in hundreds of years of local heritage as registration as a historic county flag will make the design freely useable and flyable for the public. As the design is free to use we may also see it in the future used on Cumbric produce, just like the Cornish flag appears on pasties across the country. This in turn will promote the area, give locals a symbol to rally around and help to preserve the heritage of one of England’s most beautiful and significant counties.

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