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Buckinghamshire (England)

Traditional English County

Last modified: 2021-07-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: buckinghamshire |
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[Flag of Buckinghamshire, England] image located by Jason Saber, 21 May 2011
Source: Flag Institute

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Introduction: Buckinghamshire County

Buckinghamshire's flag was registered on May 20th 2011. It is described as a "traditional flag" on the Flag Registry - Buckinghamshire Flag with references to the swan emblem dating back to Anglo-Saxon times when Buckinghamshire was known for breeding swans for the king - at this time the bird was considered a delicious meal! As a county bounded by the River Thames, water fowl are obviously endemic to the locality and swans are common, so the emblem is certainly a meaningful and representative one.
Source: Flag Institute Flag Registry
Valentin Poposki, 27 June 2020

Description of Buckinghamshire County Flag

A red-black vertical bicolour, with a white swan wearing a chained crown on its neck.
Described as a traditional design by the Flag Institute.
Jason Saber, 21 May 2011

The specific design of the flag however is based upon the arms used by the Buckinghamshire County Council, which in turn are evidently derived from heraldic badges variously borne by local nobility, in the post Anglo-Saxon era. Swans on arms often appear without any further adornment but one particular style includes a ducal coronet about the neck and a gold chain "reflexed" over its back, which is termed "a cygnet (i.e. a young swan) royal". This is the form used on the Buckinghamshire flag. The collar of a ducal coronet may be a reference to the Duke of Buckingham, as the swan on the Bucks flag was certainly his badge but a swan of this type had been used as a badge previously by earlier nobility and possibly might just have been a mark of high rank. (source)
Valentin Poposki, 27 June 2020

  • Flag Type: County Flag
  • Flag Date: C12th
  • Flag Designer: Traditional
  • Adoption Route: Traditional
  • UK Design Code: UNKG7423
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:5
    Pantone© Colours: Red 186, Black, White, Yellow 116
  • Source: Flag Institute Registry
Valentin Poposki, 27 June 2020

Buckinghamshire County Coat of Arms

[Buckinghamshire County Coat of Arms] image located by Pete Loeser, 5 September 2020
(Image Source: Heraldry of the World)

Official Blazon:

  • Arms: Per pale Gules and Sable a Swan rousant proper ducally gorged with Chain reflexed over the back Or on a Chief of the last a Roundel per chevron a Cross at the point Vert and Argent.
  • Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours on a Mount a Beech Tree eradicated proper enfiled with a Saxon Crown Or.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side a Stag and on the sinister side a Swan rousant both proper.
  • Motto: VESTIGIA NULLA RETRORSUM - No retreat.
The arms were officially granted in March of 1948. The shield shows a swan, having a Duke's coronet round his neck, to which is attached a heavy gold chain. This swan was a badge of the noble family of De Bohn, and of the Giffards who were Earls of Buckingham, and then of the Staffords who were the first Dukes of Buckingham. The two last-named families owned the royal castle at Buckingham. The Whiteleaf Cross at the top of the shield has no known special tradition attached to it. The motto vestigia nulla retrorsum means 'No retreat' which was the motto of the Earl of Buckinghamshire. (source)
Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020