Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Snippet from Dorset Echo

If you can't read what it says to the left....

THE idea of creating a flag for Dorset has already turned into something more than just talk.

David White of Dorchester and a group of other flag enthusiasts have produced badges and cards and put in an order for real flags to fly showing a gold, white and red cross design chosen to symbolise the county.

One early bird snapping up a smart little badge was Leslie Phillips, former Mayor of Dorchester and a Dorset man through and through.

"Look what I've got," he said holding out the trophy for friends to admire.

"We all want one as well, " was the response.

No doubt supplies will soon filter through in sufficient quantities to meet demand.

If you want a badge, sticker, postcard or flag - then we have them....

Results of meeting with DCC.

Today Mssrs White, Brown and Chisholm, supporters of St Wite's Cross met with John Peake, Chairman of Dorset County Council, along with Sally Northeast, DCC Public Relations Manager.

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.

Today is the day...

We meet John Peake today, chairman of Dorset CC. Peake has instigated his own 'public consultation' for a flag, after the success of our campaign.

Some designs appeared in the Dorset Echo today that are not on the website.

Yes, we may be biased - but seriously - meh.

My thoughts:

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 :

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

Bournemouth Echo follow up

Bournemouth Echo have finally put up the piece involving John Peake:

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 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

Yes, this is a setback.....

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:"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?

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Friday, 18 April 2008

Website over 1000 visits!!

The website has now had 1033 visitors!

I put the counter on the website on the last week of February. 59 days, 1033 visits - average 17 visits a day. Now that's cool.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

More press at the Bournemouth Echo....

Nick Churchill at the Bournemouth Echo is talking about St Georges Day, but thinks we should raise St Wite as well.

Some quotes:

"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 it stands, they won't anyway - no flags yet!

MySpace page up.....

Be our friend! Show your support!

Pronghorn, Who's Afear'd, E-I-I-D all hoist the Dorset Flag!!!!

The mighty Kings of Cowpunk “Pronghorn” and the wonderful Endorse It In Dorset Festival of Six Penny Handley have put their formidable weight and talents behind the St Wite’s Cross as The Flag for Dorset.

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 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 have also committed to the cause and along with Who’s Afear’d ( 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

Flagmaster and the Dorset Echo

Dee Adcock from Dorset Echo interviewed me over the phone today regarding the flag, it's origins, St Wite and the campaign. They're sending someone around to get a photo of my mug too, so that should hopefully be hitting West Dorset pretty soon! Shame I haven't got the actual flags yet.

Also of note, Jason Saber forwarded me a scan of a page from Flagmaster, the quarterly magazine of the Flag Institute and you can see the article by Steve Coombs above.

How to find a Pantone colour......

Pantones. I'd heard the term used before in the Devon flag and it was only yesterday that somebody(namely our Flag makers) asked what Pantones we were using. D'oh.

So I consult with this page:

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:

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

Dorset, Vermont meet Dorset, England!

A chap called Marc Bogononovich has been in touch over the pond from Dorset, Vermont, USA. Dorset is a small town in the state of Vermont - way up in New England. From the pictures I've seen on the web, it's a very beautiful place - much like our beloved county.

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

Seriously folks - there is no Dorset Crest/Seal/Arms.....

This one seems to keep coming up, over and over again. People keep saying that it would be nice to have the Dorset Seal, Arms or Crest on the design.

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 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

Press coverage in the Bournemouth Echo

An article about Saint Wite's Cross has now appeared in the Bournemouth Echo, you can see it here:

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

8/4/08 - part 2

Do you really want to know the ins and outs of our meeting tonight? I'm pretty sure not - more like, c'mon guys, where are the damn flags? Well, badges and stickers are on order officially. The flags may take a little longer - but I'm talking your newspapers's coming.

Another meeting

Do you really want to know the ins and outs of our meeting - I'm sure not - rather - when is this thing gonna be hitting our doorsteps? Well, Much sooner than you think.....the badges and stickers are on order, the flags may take a little longer, but I'm talking weeks, not months. Watch you newspapers....


Another meeting tonight. 612 visitors. I was contacted my a member of the press today. We're just waiting for an account to be setup and then we can order the first flags. These will likely be £7.50 with badges and stickers coming in around 50p. Nothing set in stone yet but we want to keep prices low enough.


5/4/08 – I visited Whit(e)church Canonicorum today to pay my respects to Saint Wite. I was going to take lots of photos, but my batteries ran out after two. D’oh. It’s a very humbling experience I found. To be standing alone in a 1000 yr old church, with the remains of someone that old who is a near forgotten saint! I got the mini-book ‘Who Was St Wite?’, which clearly seems to indicate she was a local Saxon woman. Updated the main page to this effect. Flags are nearly here! We’ve struck a deal with a company and will soon be ordering the first 100, plus 20 smaller ones. Jacquie has received an order for 50 stickers from the Poole/Cherbourg twinning society! We’re close on a deal for badges too. We’ve received quite a few sponsors as well. If you want to sponsor us, get in touch. A certain publication has also asked for exclusive press coverage as well…..I had a letter from Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset – he agrees that Dorset should have a flag in principle.. All merchandising will soon be available…..542 visitors….


2/4/08 - Meeting last night discussing our way forward. We will be seeking the support from Hall and Woodhouse, Palmers, the Dorset Brewing Company and Moores, the producers of Dorset Knob biscuits. Jacquie is pursuing badge and sticker options, Chris is seeking pledges to help fund the first run of flags, I am actually trying to negotiate prices for those flags! We will be creating a ‘Friends of the Flag’ group to regularly contact with news etc and hopefully get some people who want to have a more active role. Melvin Gudger will be joining the committee. Will be creating a new page on the website for the ‘Roll of Honour’ – showing out pledge to promoting the St Wite Cross as Dorset’s flag and showing those Dorset patriots and other supporters who are helping us in the campaign. Web visits now stand at 495.


31/3/08 – Still more comments, someone kindly brought to my attention Saint Judith, a saint from Halstock with an interesting past! See 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.


28/3/08Letters sent to the eight MP’s of Dorset to garner their support. A postcard was included, plus literature about the flag. People on Wikipedia have started using the flag. Although we created the Wiki entry for it here : - personal users are using it in their infoboxes - Word seems to be spreading.


26/3/08 – Met with Chris Brown and Jacquie Hall, Town Criers for Wimborne and Wareham respectively. In a very productive meeting, they have given their backing to Saint Wite’s Cross. Some thought has been given to approaching various organisations in Dorset that could help us. Potential launch dates have been thought about. We may have a leg in to the Society of Dorset Men. I’m getting a cold.


18/3/08 – Mike Prior of the Wiltshire Flag fame has kindly printed me up 1200 odd postcards to start flinging around the county.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

New Blog!

I've replaced the news page that was on my ISP Server with the more professional looking Blog.