Wednesday, 12 November 2008
FLAG PARTY on Saturday November 1st was a great success and a big bunch of fun. Many thanks to the bands PRONGHORN, RAT RACE and ANIMAL TALENT SHOW for their time efforts and brilliant sets. ALSO many thanks to Kate and her team in the WHITE HART for letting us put on the gig and providing the Marquee and heating. We raised a handsome sum and once recovered let you know how much and where it is going to. Some very amusing pictures should arrive soon.
REMEMBRANCE: 11.11.08 for the first time in history the Dorset/St Wite's Cross paid homage to those who have served this great nation and lost their lives by accompanying the Royal British Legion Standards on to Wimborne Minster Green for the Act of Remembrance at the eleventh hour. Photos should arrive soon.
AT SEA: I understand the Dorset/St Wite's Cross has been flying high and on the sea with the Weymouth Gig Racing Club and looks, as we said it would, great against a sea scape. Many thanks to the group for their early support and we know you will bring glory to Dorset for many years! Do send us your pictures please.
FLAG CAR STICKERS are now available.
FUTURE OF THIS GROUP we, Dave, Jacquie and I (Chris) are considering the options concerning how the future of the group will formally wind up as our objective has been achieved. We shall be making announcements soon. We have selected one charity that is of benefit to all residents and visitors to the County which we feel is best placed to receive the profits from the flag sales this group has generated. They also use a very fetching "gold" colour!
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
The results were as follows:
Total Valid Votes : 3868
Flag B : 2086 (54%) - The Dorset Cross - Our flag!
Flag C : 856 (22%)
Flag D : 818 (21%)
Flag A : 108 (3%)
Total Valid Votes : 3868
Spoiled Votes : 222
We’re very pleased about the result – we’re glad that when it went to a vote, what we believed has been proven. We’re thankful for the process that’s got us here.
Thus and as confirmed by John Peake - Chairman of Dorset County Council - The Dorset Cross now IS the flag of Dorset!
He said: “It’s wonderful that so many people have voted and that we now have a symbol for the county we all love. I hope I shall soon see flags flying all over the county and beyond.”
Chair of the original selection panel, Graham Bartram (Chief Vexillologist of the Flag Institute), said: “Many counties are adopting their own flag to show pride in their area. Dorset has taken a very democratic approach in inviting people across the county to vote.
“It’s clear that Dorset people love their county and are keen to have a flag which represents it. I’m delighted to see that so many people voted.”
Saturday, 13 September 2008
The count will be on the 16th September, of which I will be present. However, the results will not likely be given then. Verification of voters will probably then take place the next day, so we're looking at the end of next week for the result.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
"Don't miss your chance to vote for your preferred design for a flag to represent the county and its people.
Four possible designs, shortlisted from 29 ideas sent in by local people, are in the running and voting closes on Friday 12 September so there's still time to make your choice.
Posters featuring the four designs are on show at the county's libraries and are also posted on the Flag Institute (opens in a new window)website.
You can also pick up a voting slip at your local Dorset library, download one from the Flag Institute's website or just send your choice and contact details on a postcard to Flag Institute.
Alternatively you can e-mail your choice of A, B, C or D to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name, address and phone number.
Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist (flag expert) from the Flag Institute, has been involved in the shortlisting and organisation of the competition. He said: "Votes have been coming in thick and fast, both hard copies and emails. It's exciting to see that so many people support the idea of a Dorset flag.
"It's important that as many people as possible send in their vote so that the flag which eventually represents Dorset is truly chosen by the people of the county."
Residents of the whole county of Dorset, including Bournemouth and Poole, are eligible to vote. You must provide your address so that the judges can verify you live in the county.
Votes will be counted on Tuesday 16 September with an announcement of the winner as soon as possible after numbers have been verified."
GET IN THERE.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
The problem seems to be that the email address email@example.com redirects to firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems to use Google to do this and when the email arrives at DCC - it rejects as it hasn't come directly from Tiscali.
The solution is to email the 'email@example.com' address directly with your choice of flag and address etc.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
The bulk of the article encourages people to vote, but in bold was the following:
"Last week the View From Dorchester was told that one of the entries - St Wite's Flag was already being marketed as Dorset's 'official' flag.
We would like to make it clear that there is no suggestion that this flag's designers Dave White and Stephen Coombs were in any way involved in promoting their flag as the official version.
We apologise if they have been caused any embarrassment by our report."
I'd like to thank View From Dorchester for having some integrity and their apology. This was followed up by a letter from Chris Brown expressing his concern at what they'd reported.
In the Dorset Echo there was a letter from county complainer John Neimer. He absolutely insists that this competition is pointless(well, I agree somewhat) and that we should be using the DCC Arms as the flag. Lately, he's decided all the finalists are tea-towels and 'is he alone in that?'
Well, I responded to him - telling him to stop being Ebeneezer Scrooge.
He also got a bit of support from a couple other people:
The first, (MRS) Eileen Dickson; doesn't know what the flags represent. A statement basically saying 'what relevance does it have to Dorchester' is alarmingly insular. It's a Dorset flag my dear and Dorset is more than Dorchester. As for her not knowing what they mean, well DCC were a bit shortsighted in not disclosing that information when the finalists were printed. I did tell John Newth this information would be required. Or perhaps he realised that when people found out Design C represented the black death, it would literally be the death of it!
The second, John Rogers of the great Portland - insists that we should be using the Cerne Abbas Giant. That none of the designs say anything about Dorset, except ours which uses an irrelevant saint that is totally irrelevent to the current population of Dorset. He even invokes the mighty Thomas Hardy in his statement "Thomas Hardy, I firmly believe would have none of them."
Well, I don't think the Cerne Abbas Giant is appropriate for a flag really, recognisable yes - crude - yes. As a flag - no.
He also makes the mistake of generalising - '[St Wite has] no interest to the current population'. How does he know? We hear quite the reverse. Since when did Mr Rogers represent the population of Dorset? Arrogance doesn't befit Dorset people. Make use of this sentence 'in my personal opinion....'
Then to state that Hardy would dislike them - is grasping at straws there by invoking the mighty writer! It's all spin - "I'm more patriotic than you". Hardy, I firmly believe would rise above this prattle and give his support to the vote. It's raising the profile of Dorset and Dorset culture, which would have pleased him. Whether he liked any of them - well, who's to say? But then, that statement by Mr Rogers is supposed to give it some sort of authority. Like I said, it's all spin.
Now - it's a little late in the game for them all to be whinging now. (MRS) Dickson should make it her job to find out what the flags mean. Mr Rogers should have submitted a Cerne Abbas Giant design. Together, with John Neimer, they need to lighten up a bit! These four designs were selected by a panel of Dorset people and included the Chief Vexillologist of the Flag Institute, so they do know what they were talking about!(To a certain extent).
But in all fairness, at this stage - I don't really care what they think anymore. The process is in and the votes are being cast. By the 19th September, we should know the winner and that will be that.
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
:EDIT apparently, reporting this sort of thing in the Daily Echo is construed as making the flag seem official. Really?
The 'Endorse It In Dorset Festival' was again a massive success with over 5000 attendees this year.
The event, which annually sees bands from all over England flock to Six Penny Handley introduced their own 'Dorset Cultural Achievement Award' last year, with local band 'Who's Afear'd' picking up the award for 2007.
Since winning the award they have gone on to feature at many festivals, concerts and shows all over Dorset. They made a triumphal return to the 2008 festival and participated in the judging of this year's award along with organisers "Lamma, Fi & Big G".
The 2008 award went to the gold, red and white flag; the Dorset Cross - currently a contender in a vote that will see a flag of Dorset elected.
Big G said prior to the award that:
"The Endorse It In Dorset Festival now has a central place in promoting the culture of Dorset and has become a major source of tourist income for the County as a whole. We are delighted to be associated with this award and there was a clear winner in which we all agreed, the weather had been a bit miserable but the rallying call led by the bright and cheerful Dorset Cross flying all over the site kept our spirits and positive outlook flying high. We are delighted to award this prestigious accolade to The Dorset Cross as a unifying and bright symbol for the wonderful County of Dorset"
"The judges were impressed with the grass roots birth of Gold, Red and Silver cross which in production is yellow, red and white. It is such a good flag and has sold widely already. We think it is bound to win so we urge people to vote for Design B in the Dorset flag contest!"
Dave White, one of the founders of The Dorset Cross said:
"It's wonderful to see a distinct Dorset culture emerging at such an impressive event. I applaud the efforts of the organisers and am honoured that they should so whole-heartedly adopt the Dorset Cross as a symbol of the event. I'll certainly be back next year!"
Friday, 22 August 2008
Our flag is on sale, but we market it as a contender. It has been on sale for quite some time now, other vendors now sell it. As far as I'm aware, none of them market it as official and if they do, I will certainly be having words with them. Also, people seem to be concerned that our flag is on sale - they fail to realise that the Dorset Cross predates this competition and has every right to be.
Chris and myself have complained to 'View From...' who have apologised and the editor, Philip Evans has promised to issue a full apology in next weeks edition.
Officialdom. Registering a flag at the Flag Institute does not make a flag official. The Flag Institute is a registry and not the College of Arms, which is the only body which can award officialdom to any symbol. They work at the request of the Queen and I'm fairly sure she's not going to order a flag for Dorset anytime soon.
What we will have in Dorset, is a publically elected flag(which the council will presumably endorse) that will serve as de facto flag. I understand this better than most, so would never be so arrogant as to market our flag as official.
Results of Competition
I'm reliably informed that the results of the vote will be known somewhen during the week after voting ends(12th Sept), thus superceding the terms and conditions stating it would be 24 hours later.
Saturday, 16 August 2008
It is hoped that the Daily Echo may run the story with voting slips printed in their pages.
The two unitary authorities seem to forget that we all live in the geographical county of Dorset - this is not a political thing, it is a symbol for all the county and they are within it. As are the people.
This separatist attitude is frankly ridiculous. Give the people the chance to make their views known!
If you are in these affected areas - the best thing you can do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with you choice of design (A, B, C or D), name and full address with postcode.
You can also download the voting form and send it to county hall from here:
Bournemouth and Poole - we need you votes!
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
"11/08/08: Have your say on the design for a Dorset flag
People across Dorset can now vote for their preferred design for a flag to represent the county and its people.
Creative local people sent in a range of design ideas for a flag after an appeal through local newspapers by Dorset County Council chairman John Peake.
A panel chaired by Graham Bartram from the Flag Institute chose a shortlist of four designs from a total of 29 - now the choice is in the hands of local people.
Posters featuring the four designs are on show at the county's libraries and are also posted on the Flag Institute website.
You can also pick up a voting slip at your local Dorset library, download one from the website or just send your choice and contact details in on a postcard to Flag Institute.
Alternatively you can e-mail your choice of A, B, C or D to Dorset@flaginstitute.org, including your name, address and phone number.
Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist (flag expert), said: "We were impressed by the range of designs sent in and feel we now have a strong shortlist for the voters to choose from.
"It's important that as many people as possible send in their vote so that the flag which eventually represents Dorset is truly chosen by the people of the county."
Voting closes on Friday 12 September."Well, I have to say I'm feeling a bit more relieved now that it's started. I've been madly advising everyone to vote. Seems to have taken a lifetime to get here(in fact, DCC announced the comp on the 23rd April - so near four months). Voting ends in precisely one month.
This comes at a time when our flag has been sold in the hundreds, is being sold by several different traders on Ebay and Amazon and now appears in sticker, flag, badge, card and clock form. It is the most recognisable Dorset flag in the county, despite not being official. So if a vote swings against it - what does that then mean? It's not going to simply go away.....unlike the other designs that are just designs on paper!
Anyway - vote for design B, send an email to email@example.com with your name, (Dorset) address and phone number.
Monday, 11 August 2008
The Endorse It In Dorset festival took place this weekend(8th-10th) with major acts from all over England and especially Dorset. I didn't quite manage to survive, having been completely and utterly washed out thanks to Devon rain on Saturday! I'm obviously far to used to creature comforts....
Chris Brown and Mell Gudger did various DJ sets and stayed for the whole weekend.
I caught splendid performances from Dorset's own 'Kings of Cowpunk' Pronghorn and Who's Afear'd, both fierce supporters of the Dorset Cross.
The flag itself was on sale and it was great seeing people flaunting it around the site. My only gripe was the cheeky b*stard flag seller who had up the Armorial Banner of DCC and had the audacity to call it the 'REAL Dorset flag'. I set Chris on him Sunday....
I'm sure Chris will do a better report, but I thought I'd get this one up quickly and show the excellent official programme!
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
We have some heartwarming support for our wonderful flag which is worth recounting for you readers of this site!
I was honored to be accompanied by my colleague Mellvin Gudger on a number of events recently which illustrate the support the Dorset Cross is gaining and confirming it as a recognisable symbol of the county.
Firstly we travelled to the infamous 100 CLUB in London’s Oxford Street (one of the birthing pools of punk) to DJ and entertain the crowd. I was very honoured to introduce “Swill” from the magnificent 80’s post punk band who stormed many a stage “The Men They Couldn't Hang” Swill immediately recognised the Dorset Cross badge I was wearing and told me he always thought Dorset was full of bright buggers so they need a "f*** off you sods bright flag". A magical moment!
Secondly Mr Gudger and I were on duty in Ringwood (yes, over the border) to assist the Mayor (a lovely chap which is why we travelled) at his Ringwood Festival. We chatted to many folk and did our town crying thing and were heartened to talk to the veterans at The Royal British Legion stall who all asked about the badge and were very pleased to hear of the direct acknowledgement of the Dorset Regiment in its predominant and founding colours. Many people commented on our badges and said they had heard all about it, a few people asking what is Hampshire's flag? And commenting that it cant be as memorable as Dorset’s flag! (Anyone interested : Flag of Hampshire)
Thirdly we visited the quintessential village Fete at Gussage All Saints and were honoured at being given a table to publicise the Dorset Cross. This is a fantastic fete with no commercial interference and all for the complete good of the village set in the gardens of a most lovely house. Our reception and the interest generated was fantastic and we sold many flags and garnered much support. We even sold some flags to the Countess of Shaftesbury who pledged her support of the non commercial and charitable aims of the sales of the flag.
I think for many, our flag represents something cheerful, something bright and warm that reminds us of our beloved Dorset and of course as above, it is fighting the power (despite their 'good' aims). It is simply 'the bright light that is Dorset'!
It's brilliant that now people know what it is from all places.
Friday, 18 July 2008
It was in October 2006 that I wrote an article in 'Dorset Life', pressing for a flag for Dorset. I intended to do something practical about it but the time-consuming routine of producing a monthly magazine meant that it stayed on the back burner. The County Council was also dragging its feet.
So I was delighted when Dave White produced and promoted a suggested design. It has been generally well received, which is both a tribute to Dave's design and evidence of the need for a county flag. The drawback is that it has not really gone through any sort of county-wide democratic process: obviously it is desirable for as many people as possible to express an opinion.
What is an 'official' county flag? There is no definition in law, but the Flag Institute (an independent body which advises the government - and countries throughout the world - on flags) is keeping a National Registry of County Flags.
No-one (including the County Council) wants the County Council to impose a flag on the people of Dorset, but it took the initiative of inviting designs from anyone in the county via the press. 29 were received.
The County Council then set up a panel to choose a shortlist of four. On the panel were the Vice-Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, the editors of the 'Dorset Echo' and 'Dorset Life' and two representatives from Dorset's youth parliament. It was chaired by the Chief Vexillologist (flag expert) from the Flag Institute. If you think that the composition of the panel was not perfect, remember that they were only making a shortlist and not a final decision. It is reasonable to assume that the County Council will endorse the chosen design and that it will be flown on all public buildings in the county, but no member or officer of the County Council had any influence whatsoever on the shortlist decision.
The panel chose four designs, one of which was Dave White's. Voting, which will start in early August and go on to mid-September, can be done via the 'Dorset Echo', 'Daily Echo', 'Dorset Life' or the County Council website (although the County Council will not be involved in counting votes) or by email to the Flag Institute. Voting slips will also be distributed widely via libraries, school, parish councils etc and at the County Show. There will be precautions against multiple voting.
The aim is to arrive at a single county flag on which as many people in the county as possible have had a chance to vote: a flag of which we can all be proud.
Friday, 11 July 2008
That's a fair bit of traffic for a site that's only been in existence for a few months! Thank you to all who've stopped by.
Word on the street is that the selection panel will be meeting next week to view the candidates and select the four for voting. I know nothing else at this stage. Mayor Robin Cook from Wimborne has asked to be informed when the panel has met.
A new batch of smaller flags should be with us next week and as we're nearing the end of the current batch of larger ones - that's near 320 flags sold in a few months. We have a close supply of larger ones, so there shouldn't be a delay if we run out locally.
We should soon have windows stickers - these are the ones that stick on the inside of cars facing out. These will replace the paper stickers we have been using.
You can now buy flags in Poole from :
21-25 High St
Poole BH15 1AB
Tel: 01202 673300
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Steve Coombs has these comments on the contest to find a Dorset flag:
"The Dorset County Council could have done a lot worse in deciding how to deal with the flag question in which it has now chosen to get involved.
However it is essential to realise that there is no authority assigned to to the council to intervene at all. It has no greater say in the matter than any other organisation, or indeed any individual.
The council can certainly not make any flag official. Official flags are the result of a decision of central government, in practice (unless the flags are for the armed forces) after it has consulted the College of Arms.
Many Dorset people have already decided to use the white cross edged in red on a golden field, and there is no reason on earth why they should not continue to do so, whatever the outcome of the vote. The vote will not decide the issue; only the actual practice of ordinary people can do that."
Steve, as always has made some very valid points. A winner of this contest will be endorsed by the DCC - not made official and it will be no more official than any other Dorset flags out there. It may have won a public vote and rubber-stamped by DCC, but what does that matter in terms of officialdom? Nothing.
People are asking our stance if we should lose this or even if we don't make the final four.
Well, if we don't make the final four - I will consider this a travesty. It is entirely due to our efforts that this scenario exists. Our flag follows all the first rule of heraldry(rule of tincture) and to the letter - the guidelines of the Flag Institute. If we aren't part of the final four - I will ignore this contest completely and won't vote. I won't recognise any winner.
If we are in the final four and lose, what does this mean? We were outvoted - but the winner still isn't the official flag of Dorset - it is a popularly voted flag and endorsed by an organisation - no more official that ours. The same would apply if we won, but the difference is, the Dorset Cross is already out there - flying in the breeze. Who else can say that?
- The Dorset Grove blessed the flag at Stonehenge - find those photos here.
- Alfie Tyson Brown(son of the great Chris Brown!) sent in this photo from Glastonbury 2008.
Keep sending them in folks!
Friday, 27 June 2008
Serious campaigning for a Dorset Flag began in January this year, a few months after John Peake of DCC said that the council had no authority to create a flag because of the Unitary Status of Poole and Bournemouth.The Dorset Cross, has a golden field - linked to ancient Wessex (golden dragon), Golden Cap and Gold Hill and a white cross outlined in red. All three colours are found in the arms of DCC. If the flag was to be named after a saint - Dorset's own St Wite who rests at Whitchurch Canonicorum would be desired above all others as she is thought to have been a local.
The flag is going from strength to strength with hundreds of flags, badges and stickers having been sold to the Dorset public. Wimborne Town Council recently adopted it and it is to be blessed at Stonehenge this Saturday(27th June) by Dorset Grove.
Despite this, John Peake announced a county wide 'competition' for a new flag of Dorset, in an apparent u-turn on their previous position(citing us as 'having got them going'). That contest ends tonight(27th June '08) at midnight. A panel of judges (The High Sheriff, Lord Lieutenant, Two members of the youth parliament, the Dorset Echo editior and chaired by the Flag Institute's chief vexillologist(flag expert)) will shortlist four entries that will be voted on by the Dorset public.
The Dorset Cross has been entered into this competition. In the event we lose, it's possible we will carry on regardless as DCC does not have the power to authorise an official flag. Only the College of Arms and the Queen can do that.
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
"We will be holding out Solstice Ritual at Stonehenge at Midday.we will be flying the Dorset flag there and doing a blessing for it, hopefully the press will pick it up, but if not we well send you the photos."
We at the Dorset Cross are incredibly honoured by this gesture and thank Dorset Grove for this. The Dorset Cross is rapidly becoming truely a flag for all faiths.
Left: Cllr Robin Cook, Mayor of Wimborne Minster Town Council
Right: Cllr. Anthony Oliver MBE, Immediate past Mayor of Wimborne, Chairman of Wimborne In Bloom, Press Officer St Cuthberga’s Minster Church of Wimborne.
In the Council chamber on occasion of Cllr Oliver MBE donating a Dorset Cross (St Wite’s) Flag to Cllr Robin Cook, Mayor of Wimborne Minster Town Council
WATCH MERIDIAN NEWS TOMORROW - 25/6/08 - 6pm-6.30pm
I am interviewed about the flag, the county council's involvement and my thoughts!
More words from Cllr Richard Booth of Wimborne:
"Having browsed the Dorset Flag website, I must commend you on putting together a very convincing argument for the adoption of the Dorset Cross as the flag of Dorset. I will do my best to spread awareness of the website, and to encourage others to sponsor such an endeavour. As you say, our flag must be both distinctive and symbolic - a representation of our pride in being residents of Dorset.
I wish you the best of luck."
Thursday, 19 June 2008
"18/06/08: Last chance to join the search for a Dorset flag
Creative Dorset people have just a few more days to enter their design ideas for a flag for the county.
Local newspapers have joined with Dorset County Council to publicise the search for a flag which can represent the county. Entries have already been sent in but there's still time to send your idea before the competition closes on 27 June.
Council Chairman John Peake said: "Over the years the idea of a flag has surfaced several times. Recent work by a group promoting a flag called the Dorset Cross has shown that there is a lot of support for the idea.
"Through local newspapers I asked residents to submit their designs and we now have numerous possibilities. You now have until the end of June to send in any last minute entries then the process to choose one will begin."
A panel chaired by Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist (flag expert) at the Flag Institute, will look at all the entries using a list of agreed criteria to shortlist four. Local people will then have the chance to vote for their favourite.
Mr Bartram, who has advised several counties on choosing a flag design, said: "Simplicity is the key. A good flag should be simple enough that a child could draw it. It should not include too many colours and should have a historical significance for the county it represents."
Mr Bartram has helped draw up the criteria on which judging will be based. He will be joined on the judging panel by Dorset's Lord Lieutenant Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers, High Sheriff John Raymond, Dorset's two Members of Youth Parliament Anna Barker and Omar Sharif and Dorset Echo editor David Murdock.
Mr Peake added: "I am delighted to see so much interest in this competition. It shows that there is a great deal of pride in the county."
The conditions of the competition are available at the right hand side (PDF). All designs which have already been submitted through local newspapers will automatically be entered into the shortlisting. Any further entries should be sent c/o Cllr John Peake."
I have read through the terms and conditions.
- Anyone in Dorset, Bournemoutn and Poole can enter until next Friday 27th at midnight. One entry per person.
- Four entries will be selected by the panel and these will be published
- Public will vote on favourite flag - by post or 'drop points'.
- There will be a prize draw of £50 for those that enter.
Well, this is great, but a shame now that we have sold in the region of 220 flags across the county and are still getting exposure from the likes of the Western Daily Press. Saying that - people now have until next Friday to get an entry in - it's not long is it?
So there'll be a vote. Do I trust the Dorset people not to do the obvious and vote green and blue? All depends on the 4 selected shortlisted I suppose. I'm very glad Graham Bartram is aboard - it's a shame that his guidelines didn't come out two months ago.
I feel that the panel is fair. They are high ranking officials of Dorset.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
COUNTY KEEN TO FLY THE FLAG
BY LAURA WILLIAMS
08:00 - 18 June 2008
It may be the last county in the West to champion its own flag, but campaigners for the Dorset Cross are certainly making up for lost time in ensuring their gold flag is flown in every town and village in the county.
They have already sold out of the first 220 flags and are now awaiting a delivery of another 1,000.The Dorset Cross has already been flown from churches and pubs across the county and was even taken to Wembley by the Wimborne Town Youth Football team when they watched an England game at the new stadium.
Campaigner Dave White, from Dorchester, said: "Dorset has got it all, lovely countryside, the sea and coast. It's like England in one little county. People, rightly so, are very proud of Dorset.
"Since devolution, the Scots, the Welsh and the Northern Irish are getting more proud of where they come from. In Devon and Cornwall, everywhere you go, you see the flags.
"It's good on the unity front to hold on to something which says 'we are from here'. People get quite excited about that."
The flag's design draws upon the county's history. The colours used are found in the Dorset County Council and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service Arms. The gold also relates to the Jurassic Coast beauty spot, Golden Cap, and the famous Shaftesbury street, Gold Hill.
Jason Saber, of the national Flag Institute has commended the flag as simple yet symbolic and distinctive.
Designer Stephen Coombs was keen to make it stand out from the flags of neighbouring counties, many of which feature the colour green.
Last summer, Wiltshire launched its own green and white striped flag featuring a great bustard and earlier this year Gloucestershire joined in with another green, blue and white flag - just slightly different to the Devon flag adopted in 2003.
Somerset's flag, which features a red dragon, can be seen flying across the county and Cornwall's striking black and white cross has become a symbol for those wanting independence.
But supporters say the Dorset Cross is more about unity and identity, rather than the desire for independence.
The new flag has even got a special launch party in the shape of Endorse-it In-Dorset festival, which celebrates all that is great about the county.
The festival, which takes place in Sixpenny Handley, near Shaftesbury, hosts its own Dorset Cultural Highlight of the Year award, for which the new flag is a front runner. Festival flyers feature cartoons of the band erecting the flag in the style of Rosenthal's famous World War II image. Organisers and local musicians Pronghorn, who were also key sponsors of the campaign, will champion the flag at the three-day festival in August.
The bid has attracted attention from far and wide, from Sherborne in the north of the county to Bridport in the south and even from the former Hampshire town of Bournemouth.
A Facebook group called "Support the Dorset Flag" has attracted more than 100 members.
It was a hot topic of conversation among visitors to last weekend's Wimborne Folk Festival.
Wimborne Town Crier Chris Brown said: "There's lots about Dorset we want to celebrate. We've got the Olympics coming here in 2012 and it was here that the trade union movement was born. The flag is needed to show the world what Dorset means to people who live here. Our flag stands out from all the others and will put Dorset on the map."
For more information please visit www.flagfordorset.org.uk .
Friday, 13 June 2008
"Support the Dorset Flag - Bold Bright and very English" has already gained near 100 members in the last week. Charley has also created a Facebook profile for 'Dorset Cross' - add it as your friend:
And Bournemouth Borough Council - if you're listening....Charley was born in Bournemouth, Hampshire. Smoke that.
Here's raising a glass(and a flag) to you Charley!
BTW - We'll be at Wimborne Folk Festival this Sunday at the Mayor's table - come along to say hello or buy a flag, or both!
Thursday, 12 June 2008
County flag idea snub
IDEAS for a new flag for Dorset have been snubbed by councils in the east of the county.
Bournemouth Borough Council has cited their historic links with Hampshire while Poole and Christchurch have also decided not to be involved at this stage.
Dorchester's Dave White, who launched the project with his own design, still hopes the flag will go ahead.
He said: "I'm very disappointed with Bournemouth Borough Council's response considering the town has now been part of Dorset for many years.
"Hankering after a past life with Hampshire certainly is not a particularly good excuse. If the people of Bournemouth choose to adopt the flag, then who are the council to stop them?"
Mr White contacted all three councils after Dorset County Council chairman John Peake stressed that discussions would have to involve Bournemouth and Poole.
Chief executive of Bournemouth Borough Council Pam Donnellan confirmed their decision. She said: "We already have strong historic links with both Hampshire to the east and Dorset to the west and we wish Dorset every success in this new initiative."
The Echo invited readers to send in their designs and they were forwarded on to the county council after Coun Peake said they were happy to move the project forward.
A Borough of Poole spokesman also referred to historical issues. He said: "The borough has a rich history dating back hundreds of years and was subject to a Royal Charter in 1568 which saw it named the county of the town of Poole and, therefore, separate from the county of Dorset.
"The council has no objections to the campaign for a Dorset flag however we feel that this issue is best pursued by our colleagues at Dorset County Council."
Sally Northeast, public relations manager at Dorset County Council, confirmed chief executive David Jenkins had spoken to both Bournemouth and Poole's councils and that they were not interested at the moment.
She said: "The issue for them is to do with the fact that they have quite a strong town identity from a tourism point of view. If the flag goes into production who knows what will happen."
John Gale, 71, will be flying Mr White's design at this year's West Dorset Vintage Stationary Engine and Tractors Club rally and thinks everyone in Dorset should support it.
He said: "Everybody should get together as it doesn't matter where you are in the county."
Monday, 2 June 2008
- She wasn't aware that Dorset Echo had ended submissions and didn't advise this.
- That the council will certainly not choose a winning entry.
- Further discussions will take place with local media to tie-up loose ends.
- A proposed panel will be asked for their views on criteria for a flag.
- It appears that some sort of public vote will still take place or this is still their intention.
Thanks for clearing that up Sally. I think I still feel a little in the dark though!
I'd quite like to know who the proposed panel is and what qualifies them to create criteria?
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Most importantly though, was this statement:
"Thank you to all our readers who have sent us their submissions in our hunt to find a flag for Dorset.
Our search is now over and we will be sending the flags we have received to the county council, so it can consider whether to adopt any of them as the official Dorset flag."
This is completely out of the blue. I know that last Friday(23rd May), Sally Northeast indicated she was going to take the advice of the newspaper editors and I know that this week she has been on holiday. I thought they were going to release a second press release with the criteria for a flag submission etc. It seems not.
Whilst this may seem good news, it is the second sentence that bothers me - the second bit:
"...so it can consider whether to adopt any of them as the official Dorset flag."
The council may consider none of them appropriate. If this were to happen, I should expect a public vote - I know our flag is approved of by the Flag Institute, unlike many of the other designs. So it should be appropriate. There's still nothing stopping us making is the unofficial flag of Dorset.
On the other hand, who selects the flags? Using what criteria? What if they select something wholly inappropriate? I think many people think they'll be getting a vote. We just don't know as we were never told.
There will also be a few people who will legitimately point out that DCC may not have the authority to do this.
The article is here:
The plot thickens....
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Friday, 23 May 2008
Speaking of which - the website will be updated to a more professional feel very soon.
There's been quite a lot of publicity again:
Dorset Echo : Let's run them up the Flagpole including mandatory cute kid
Dorset Echo : M Macleod says 'No Contest'
Dorset Echo : Arguments with John Neimer Part 1
Dorset Echo : Arguments with John Neimer Part 2
Dorset Echo : Arguments with John Neimer Part 3
Dorset Echo : Arguments with John Neimer Part 4
Western Gazette : Georgian Fair coverage
Blackmore Vale : Article
There has been other articles, like one showing Chris presenting the Oddfellow Arms with their flags in the Bournemouth Echo - I have copies of these so will be scanning and upping very soon!
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Check out the new Endorse-It, In-Dorset festival poster! Brilliant! Clickie for the big version!
The Western Gazette published an article about the flag showing the picture with Chris, Jacquie et al flying the flag at Blandford.
We have some new sponsors....go check out the Roll of Honour page.....
We're still waiting to hear just about anything back from the County Council now...Chris had an email from Sally Northeast saying that she'd met with David Jenkins - the Chief Executive, but was still trying to nail down Mr Peake, who seems to have become a bit elusive. She promises more info tomorrow as she's meeting with him. She was supposed to be also finding out whether we formally need to enter St Wite's cross into this contest......Come on Sally! We're routing for you!
Those damn big flags are still not here! I was expecting them today as well. The company assures me they were sent out Monday by courier, so hopefully tomorrow.
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
I'm going to have to be frank. Do any of these people take the idea of a flag seriously?
Six of the most complicated flags I have ever seen. How many colours? These are examples of how not to produce a flag. I'm sorry but they're a disaster. They'd cost a fortune to reproduce.
- Simplicity? Can children seriously reproduce these flags?
- Charges(putting symbols on flags)! Don't use them! NO WORDING.
- Colours - keep it to three!
This is what the Flag Institute, the foremost authority on flag creation has laid down in their own guidelines to creating a flag!!
I appreciate this person has gone to alot of effort with ten designs in all, but lets take our heraldry seriously for a moment. I would never, ever fly anything like that. One looks like a tie-dye t-shirt! Trying to put too much in....as I said, too complex.
Monday, 5 May 2008
Chris and Jacquie were up for the Town Crier competition, while St Wite's flag flapped slowly in the breeze behind them. We sold a few smaller flags - I didn't intend to do that as now we have no smaller ones left! Getting an order in ASAP....sorry folks. Big ones due in a week!
We also spoke to Mike Oliver - the chairman of North Dorset County Council. He's been so far, the only chairman good enough to write back to us.
Mike indicated that he wasn't sure this 'competition' was the right way to go, but certainly drawing people's attention to what we're doing and garnering comments was better.
It is a cause of concern, when libraries in Dorset are being shut down and now public money is being spent on a flag competition!
A shop that's well up for St Wite's Flag!
A resident of East Dorset recently challenged me that Dorset has no golden grainfields. It does, I've seen them my whole life. Here in May though, let's have a look in the fields shall we.....
This time of year - you can see and smell nothing but the rapeseed fields......
Another silly argument that yellow is the colour of cowardice keeps popping up. Well, today while I was at the Royal British Legion of Blandford, I noted many, many medals there - many with yellow in the ribbons. Try telling the British Legion that it means cowardice.....and besides, it's gold!!!!
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Chris Brown and Alistair Chisholm in full Town Crier dress vocalised very much the frustration St Wite's campaign now finds itself in and how St Wite's Cross very much meets criteria laid down by the Flag Institute and at least has some historical bearing.
Sally understood this, but both John and herself still wished to see a more democratic approach. John Peake was also regretful at his statement in 2007 where he stated they would not create a flag.
The 'competition' will still go ahead, but it has been stated that there will now be a clear end date within the next couple of months. Concluding that there is nothing the St Wite Campaign can do about that, we will go along with it(perhaps reluctantly - we didn't want council interferance and Chris made this clear a few times.)
When all submissions are in, a panel selected from a cross-section of the Dorset community will make a shortlist of flags to be voted on. The shortlist will then be presented to the public in a publication - votes will likely be either by post, phone, email or on a website - this hasn't been finalised yet.
Alistair and myself made it very clear that the panel should have at least some heradic and vexillogical experts onboard and provided Sally with the Flag Institute's 'Flag Design' booklet as well as the NAVA 'Good Flag, Bad Flag' booklet.
Sally will use this information to create criteria that flags must meet if they are to be considered.
Hopefully this will be a speedy process and Sally seemed to indicate that it would be. A new press release will goto the Bournemouth and Dorset Echo's detailing the new 'rules'.
It was established in this meeting that the question was no longer 'should there be a Dorset flag' but 'What will the Dorset flag be'?
Bournemouth and Poole Boroughs at this stage have declined to be part of this. This does not mean that he people cannot adopt the winning flag or indeed, St Wite's Cross. The St Wite's Cross campaign will continue with large flags becoming available in under two weeks.
Well, this is pretty much how I thought this meeting would go. It was worthwhile grilling them about what had previously been said. More importantly though, it was worth giving Sally the booklets with how a decent flag should be designed and to make it very clear that a flag needs to be simple and NOT have charges placed on it.
We are disappointed in what has happened, given how much time and work has gone into this from our end. So ours now becomes a campaign to win the vote as it were. We have no choice but to play along.
If you haven't, I would advise re-reading our detailed explanation for our choices of colour and why we truely believe St Wite's Cross should be the flag of Dorset.
Some designs appeared in the Dorset Echo today that are not on the website.
Yes, we may be biased - but seriously - meh.
Flags are not concerned with colour co-ordination. If they were, we'd never notice them. They're meant to stand out in a crowd! They're supposed to clash in order for us to see them and take notice! Get over green and blue - seriously!!!
Please read here : http://www.nava.org/Flag%20Design/GFBF/gfbf-1.htm
One design is seriously 'meh'. Looks like a Scandinavian style flag with this years colours for your front room.
The other, a Jamaican reject flag with Scottish undertones. What?
Another, a verbal complete letdown in four shades.
Sorry for the criticism, but I don't see anything inspirational so far.....
Friday, 25 April 2008
You'll note that their piece is la lot less gushing than Dorset Echo's and they don't ask you to send in your design to them. In fact, the article in the Bournemouth Echo doesn't mention that he wants you to send in your ideas....at all.
Chris Brown, myself and Dorchester Town Crier Alistair Chisholm will be meeting with Mr Peake on 30th April to discuss things.
There are many, many things that need to be raised.
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Dorset County Council Chairman John Peake has decided to open the field to everyone and his aunt. Now, this is strange that 8 months ago, he wasn't interested:
http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/search/display.var.1580074.0.flag_calls_rejected_by_council.php"John Peake, chairman of Dorset County Council, said: "Dorset County Council now serves only part of the county since Bournemouth and Poole were given unitary status in 1997 and we therefore have no authority to introduce such a flag."A small number of people have, on occasions, raised with us the question of creating a new county flag, each with their own idea of a design."We have our own flag for our purposes which represents the area we serve but it is not appropriate to use this for the whole county as Bournemouth and Poole also have their own."
It was all over the press this time last year. Why didn't he start an initiative then? And indeed, if there has been groups that have approached them over the years, why didn't they start doing something then?
No details whatsoever have emerged at how this is to be undertaken - except, send your ideas to the Dorset Echo who will pass them on.
Jason Saber says "he has still given no details about how this so called competition is going to be arranged – just some sort of appeal to send in ideas – to whom? by when? He’s using the newspaper to do it – they will send the ideas to the council?? Can they be relied upon to do that? Surely the ideas should be sent directly to the council? Shouldn’t someone question why the council isn’t doing this directly but using some sort of intermediary? Is this a serious venture, or just gesture politics? Who is going to be the judge of this so called competition? A few councilors after an evening of drinks? It seems open ended i.e there’s NO closing date."
There's more to this that I can reveal at the moment, but this is somewhat of a backstab for us.
The whole reason we started this campaign was because the council weren't interested. Now that we've got going with it, they want to jump on the bandwagon and take over.
Point to note. Both the Dorset Echo and Bournemouth Echo knew about this last Friday. Which paper ran the story? Which one appears to have deliberately not?
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Saturday, 19 April 2008
There's Mr White in all his glory.....
Small piece at WessexFM
We've had nearly 100 visits in the last 24 hours! We're 1t 1100 now.
Friday, 18 April 2008
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Nick Churchill at the Bournemouth Echo is talking about St Georges Day, but thinks we should raise St Wite as well.
"I bring this up as a campaign has been gathering pace to establish a Dorset flag - Saint Wite's Cross. A white cross with red borders on a gold background, the red and white remind the good people of Dorset that we live in an English county while the gold refers to the golden dragon that represented the Saxon kingdom of Wessex at the Battle of Hastings."
"Given its similarity to the Cross of St George, why not fly the Dorset flag alongside it on April 23?
What harm could it do?"I could see some people having issue with this. For some, the St Georges Cross is sacred - St Georges Day included. I could see some people taking offence at raising St Wite on the same day....as it stands, they won't anyway - no flags yet!
The Endorse it Festival runs from Friday August 8th to 10th and is a true celebration of Dorset based music, performance and cultural diversity. Further details can be found at www.lgofestivals.com. Plans are afoot to use the St Wite’s cross in their publicity for the festival, looking at how to integrate the image and fly the flag at this summers festival. Pronghorn www.pronghorn.co.uk have also committed to the cause and along with Who’s Afear’d (www.myspace.com/whosafeard winners of the 2007 Endorse IT Festival Cultural Contribution Award) are keen to play a showcase gig in support of the flag, details will be announced soon.
National Champion Town Crier Alistair Chisholm of Dorchester has also committed his support to this worthwhile project and is assisting behind the scenes to promote the St Wite’s Cross at various events in the coming year, watch this space.
The Flag organisers are over the moon with this heavy weight and highly significant support.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
So I consult with this page: http://www.celebrationcottage.com/faq/pantone.aspx
Yea - not helpful. Many, many colours...
So I then discover a tool called 'Color Cop'. This is a tiny free application that allows you to work out the RGB(Red, Green Blue) elements of any colour. So, using the Bitmap version of the flag I have, I worked out the elements for the Red and Gold.
Then - going to this site: http://www.netfront.fr/Services/rgb2pantone/
I was able to convert RGB to Pantones! Well, what it actually does is give you the closest pantone to your RGB colour.
So, for your excitement, after a mornings messing around, I can say
Red - 1788 2X
Yellow - 803 2X
The numbers correspond to an actual pantone as found in the first link.....
Wasn't that exciting!!!
869 visitors to the website now.....
Sunday, 13 April 2008
As it strands Dorset, VT doesn't have a flag of its own....(sound familiar!??!?!), but Marc is keen to perhaps use Saint Wite's Cross as a starting point for them.
Now seriously. How cool is that? I think that would be a wonderful boost for the campaign.
Good luck Marc - you certainly have our support!
Saturday, 12 April 2008
There is no such thing. So one wonders what they're talking about. There is not one official or unofficial symbol that encompasses the whole of Dorset. I do wonder whether they're talking about the Dorset County Council Arms.
Let's not forget that since Bournemouth and Poole Borough's were made into Unitary Authorities, Dorset County Council no longer has power over the whole county - so their Arms do not 'represent' those areas(In fact, Bournemouth has its own). Lets also not forget that they are the county council arms!!!! They are a symbol of an organisation, not a county.
This line of thinking would be like suggesting we use a Badger on the flag, because Hall and Woodhouse Brewery use that. They are a Dorset brewery, so why not people? Oh, because they're an organisation and the symbol represents them. It is no different with the county council, they're an organisation and they have a symbol. It doesn't mean Dorset. It means Dorset County Council.
People are mixing arms and flags up something rotten here. On the Bournemouth discussion, someone was suggesting we get new arms commissioned for Dorset.....eh? We want a flag, not arms!
Also, you never, ever deface a flag with writing. The "Who's Afear'd" motto should never, ever be used on Saint Wite's Cross, but there's nothing stopping people putting it on badges or stickers etc. Again, people confuse arms with a flag. You sometimes see Mottos on arms.
Anyway, I can feel my temples throbbing...time to watch the TV and chill.....! :-)
Friday, 11 April 2008
Some very silly comments and one heated opponent who seems to utterly miss the point of simplicity in flags and staying away from shields, arms etc.
I often wonder when people react that aggressively. Are they annoyed that somebody else thought of the idea and is getting it moved forward?
I also had a strange comment on the guestbook - attacking that I'd said "Dorset's beaches stretch all the way into Devon." Their problem with that was that it should be up to Devon's borders. No comment about the flag. I emailed them saying 'comment on the flag?' - the answer was no, because they didn't feel inspired by it etc etc. Surely that was the comment in itself?
Ain't nothin as queer as folk. Anyway, this press coverage has seriously pushed the page views up to 770!
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
31/3/08 – Still more comments, someone kindly brought to my attention Saint Judith, a saint from Halstock with an interesting past! See http://www.darkdorset.co.uk/Library/read.php?item=62. Three of us are meeting tomorrow to have a ‘committee’ meeting to start discussing the 3 million things that need discussing. Chris has kindly made an agenda and has man-flu. Everyone at work has a cold as well. Has anyone seen/read ‘The Stand’? The website has now had 426 views, which is up about 100 from last week.
30/3/08 – More and more comments on the guestbook – and now we’re getting demands for flags…..created this news page. Negotiations continue for flags. Some manufacturers are being slow. Chris, Jacqui and I will be getting together again to discuss strategy. I still have a cold. And a sore throat. And a cough.