Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Town Crier Travails!


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.

Chris Brown

Friday, 18 July 2008

Dorset Cross in the final running....!

John Newth, editor of 'Dorset Life', writes:

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

Over 5000 visits!, more news

Our site has now had over 5000 visits! (No, that's not me clicking 'refresh' every few seconds...!)

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