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The shire is historically divided into three districts, Cunningham, Kyle and Carrick which predate the county itself. The clan Cunningham was the local landowning family who bore arms containing a “shakefork” device


which later appeared in the civic arms of the local district authority


The shakefork is recalled on the proposed design by the black pall running from hoist to fly. A red chevron on a white field formed the arms of the Earl of Carrick

Carrick Arms

and it later appeared in the civic arms of the Kyle Carrick council


The red chevron consequently features on the proposed flag as a red fimbriation of the black pall, at the hoist, while the blue fimbriation on the fly denotes the blue and white fess (chequered blue and white bar) of the Kyle district, as seen in the above district arms; this is taken from the arms of John Stewart, Lord of Kyle (later King Robert III),

John Stewart

In the centre of the pall is a golden lyre as appeared in the first awarded arms of Ayrshire county council

Ayrshire CC Arms 1

which represented the musical and artistic heritage of the county – including being the home of famed poet Robbie Burns.

It may be noted that the red chevron, blue and white checks and black shakefork all appeared in in the second awarded set of arms used by Ayrshire county council

Ayrshire CC Arms 2

and that the propsed flag from Philip Tibbetts therefore maintains several resonant local symbolic traditions. Additionally, a local resident who grew up in the county declared upon seeing this proposed design “… when I look at it I see the black as the coal from the mines we used to have, the blue is the rivers and the Firth of Clyde and the white base as the milk from the Ayrshire cows which represent the farming which forms a large part of the county now….. red..the blood spilt by Cromwell in days gone by and the blood of the covenanters spread across the hills and moors of Ayrshire…the sunsets over the coast.”

Another suggestion, from Brady Ells

is derived from the arms used by the former Ayrshire County Council

Ayrshire CC Arms 1

which featured a red saltire on a gold field and two lyres to represent the locality’s artistic heritage, this being the home of the poet Robbie Burns. The design places one of these golden lyres against the red saltire, which in turn sits against a gold field

One thought on “Ayrshire

  • Got some hopefully constructive criticism. I like the lyre but too wee, the general arrangement is nice and the symbolism well considered but somehow it looks slightly weak, a final worry is that it overemphasises Cunninghame over Kyle and Carrick. I suggest three very minor amendments which I think would perfect it – and as an Ayrshireman I have a vested interest in making…So make the blue lines 1.5 times thicker; fill in the triangle formed by the red line so it’s solid; move the lyre into the red triangle now formed and increase its size.

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