The flag of Caithness was registered on January 26th 2016 following a ceremony held at New Caithness House, Wick, where it was revealed as the winner of the competititon held to select a flag for the county. The competition had been held in early 2015. The winning design secured over forty per cent of the vote. The flag includes a Nordic cross symbolising the ancient ties of the county to the Vikings, in blue and gold symbolsiing the county’s beaches and the surrounding sea, whilst the black background colour recalls the area’s famous Caithness flagstone. In the canton is a galley bearing a raven, a symbol used by the Scandinavian invaders. The same galley and raven had appeared on the coat of arms ofthe former Caithness County Council.
There had been some discussion surrounding a flag for this northernmost mainland county for several years. In 2014 several ABC members particpated in this, encouraging the local residents to put the idea into acton and shortly afterwards “North of Scotland Newspapers” media group announced that it planned to push ahead with the idea. Following a round of publicity in the local press and an elaborate quasi-legislative procedure, occasioned by the legal requirement, north of the border, that all flags must be registered with the nation’s highest heraldic authority, the Lord Lyon, the competition was launched in Spring 2015. It received the sanction of several local councils and the Flag Institute.