Thursday, 28 August 2008

Apology issued by 'View From Dorchester'

After last weeks erroneous article that accused us of selling the flag as 'official', View From Dorchester this week does another front page article relating to the Dorset Flag competition.

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.

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