So, we've reached the final date - the 27th - no more submissions to 'find a flag for Dorset 2008'. So we'll be getting a flag soon - get this voting slips ready! But - does this matter?
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?