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Cumbria (England)

Ceremonial English County

Last modified: 2021-09-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: cumbria | cumberland | westmorland | allerdale |
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[Cumbria proposal] image by Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020
Cumbria County Council Flag (unofficial)

On this page:

See also:

Introduction: Cumbria

Although there is no official county flag for Cumbria, there is the heraldic crest commissioned by Cumbria County Council. There have been several flags suggested over the years, including my own.
Other flags previously suggested include ones based upon:

- A White cross on blue background.
- The old Cumberland and Westmorland flags
Dave Atkinson,15 June 2008

Because the names' Cumberland and Cumbria (which do derive from a common source) sound very similar, people often fail to understand the distinct identity of the counties of Cumberland and Cumbria. Ceremonial Cumbria is the name of an administrative territory encompassing both the traditional counties of Cumberland and Westmorland - along with a small part of Lancashire (Part of Furness).

Officially in 1974, under the Local Government Act of 1972, the traditional counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, plus the county borough of Carlisle were abolished. The administration for the areas they covered were combined to form a new non-metropolitan, or ceremonial county called Cumbria. After that the administrative offices were relocated at Cumbria House in Botchergate, Carlisle - with formal meetings of the new Cumbria County Council moved to County Offices in Kendal.
Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020

A Flag for Cumbria (unofficial)
Commercially sold and used

[Cumbria Commericial, England] image by Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020
based on this photo first located by Ian MacDonald, 14 July 2010 (Source: English County Flags: Cumbria).

The Cumbria County Council has been strangely silent on which was the Cumbria Flag or the Cumbria Council Flag but has allowed the de-facto use of commercial variants. This particular banner of arms was flown outside Eland House in 2010-2011 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government. It is based on the Arms of Cumberland. Because of the mix-up it is now also commercially sold as the Cumbria County flag.
Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020

Cumbria County Council Coat of Arms

[Cumbria County Council Arms] image located by Pete Loeser, 17 September 2021

The Arms of Cumbria County Council were granted in 1974 when Cumberland, Westmorland, and part of Lancashire and Yorkshire (West Riding) were combined to form the Ceremonial County of Cumbria which acts as the administrative authority of the region.

Official Blazon

  • Arms: Per pale Azure and Or a Pale wavy per pale of the last and Vert over all two Bars dancetty of three points upwards countertinctured Argent Azure Argent and Vert all within a Bordure of the last charged alternately with three Roses Argent on each another Gules both barbed and seeded proper and as many Parnassus flowers Argent.
  • Crest: On a Wreath Argent Azure and Vert issuant out of a Mural Crown Argent masoned Gules a Ram's Head proper armed Or between two Parnassus Flowers slipped also proper; Mantled Vert doubled Argent.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side a representation of the Dacre Bull at Naworth Gules armed unguled and collared with a Chain flexed over the back Or and on the sinister side a Dragon also Gules the whole upon a Compartment composed of a section of the Roman Wall charged with two Bars Gules.
  • Motto: Ad Montes Oculos Levavi - I lifted up my eyes to the hills, but commonly translated as "I shall lift up mine eyes unto the hills."
Source: Heraldry of the World: Cumbria.
Pete Loeser, 17 September 2021

Cumbria County Council Logo

[Flag of Cumbria county council, England] image by Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020
based on this image located by Valentin Poposki, 9 December 2011 (Source: Flying Colours Gallery)

Cumbria County Council is the county council of Cumbria, a county in the North West of England. Established in 1974, following its first elections held the previous year, it is an elected local government body responsible for the most significant local services in the county, including county schools, county roads, and social services.
Pete Loeser, 17 September 2021

Cumbria Constabulary

[Cumbria Constabulary Flag, England] CC Flag    [Cumbria Constabulary Badge, England] CC Badge
images by Pete Loeser, 17 September 2021
based on this image

The Cumbria Constabulary is the territorial police force covering the Ceremonial County of Cumbria. Originally the Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary was established back in 1856. The Kendal Borough Police (1947) and the Carlisle City Police (1966) were added to the existing force which was renamed for a short time the Cumberland, Westmorland and Carlisle Constabulary. In 1967 the force name was simplified to the Cumbria Constabulary it has remained.
Pete Loeser, 17 September 2021

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service

[Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service Flag, England] CFRS Flag    [Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service Badge, England] CFRS Badge
images by Pete Loeser, 17 September 2021
based on this image

The "Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is a large rural service covering the picturesque Lake District to the Pennines in the east and from the industrialised West Cumbrian coast to the estuaries in the south of the county. There are 38 fire stations, 6 regular, (4 with additional on-call crew support), 2 day crewed (with additional on-call crew support) and 30 on-call, serving the county."
Source: Cumbria Website.
Pete Loeser, 17 September 2021

Cumbria Regional Flag Proposals

Regional Flags: Atkinson Proposal

[Cumbria proposal] image by Dave Atkinson, 16 June 2008

I created this proposal two years ago to use as a banner at Carlisle United games. Although I had no deliberate intention to promote it widely, it is now well known amongst Carlisle fans and has appeared on Sky Sports and Virgin Media. It even featured on the opening credits of some of the highlights packages. I've had quite a few fans coming up and saying hello at games, and asking where they can get one, so I did investigate getting more printed up. In the meantime, I am ordering 100 car stickers, because that many people have placed advanced orders for them. Not bad considering I've not publicised it to date and it was only meant to be a joke!
As I said, there is no official flag, but the one I've designed is the only one that actually includes the official coat of arms, commissioned for the (re)creation of the county of Cumbria in 1974.
Dave Atkinson, 16 June 2008

Regional Flags: Traditional Cumberland and Westmorland Flags

While on holiday in the Lake District a few weeks ago, I saw some flag stickers on sale in a local store in Patterdale. There were advertised by the label "Fly your regional flag" or something like that, and there were three different flags. Two of them were white crosses on a blue field with the words "Cumbria" or "Cumberland" written in the cross, and the third was similar with a red cross on a yellow field with the inscription "Westmorland". As I understand it, the historical counties of Cumberland and Westmorland make up the modern Cumbria.
Jonathan Dixon, 11 September 2004

[Cumbria proposal]     [Cumberland proposal] images by Ben McGarr, 22 November 2007

Two other regional flags are the traditional yellow Westmorland Flag and the blue Cumberland Flag as mentioned by Dave Atkinson.
Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020

Regional Flags: Commercial Variant Westmorland and Cumberland Flags

[Cumbria proposal]     [Cumberland proposal]
images by Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020

Both the yellow Westmorland Regional flag with red cross and the blue Cumberland Regional flag with the white cross are being sold with text.
Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020

Regional Flag: Cumbria

[Cumbria proposal] image by Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020

This blue commercial variant of a Cumbria flag with white cross and text is also available and being used.
Pete Loeser, 9 September 2020

Regional Flag Proposal: Furness

[Prospective flag for Part of Furness] image located by Valentin Poposki, 29 June 2020
Source: British county Flags: Part of Furness.

The territory of Furness was the northernmost portion of Lancashire, now incorporated into Cumbria. As part of Lancashire, this prospective flag, the work of Philip Tibbetts, was presented as a notion comparable to the flags of the Yorkshire ridings, complementing the county flag. The green wyvern is taken from the seal of Furness Abbey. This became a common emblem across the the area, used for insignia by both the Furness Building Society and the Furness Railway, where the wyvern can be seen at the base. The division of the flag, resembling flames, is heraldically termed "rayonny" and symbolises a fire, being both a pun on the name of the area and a reference to the craggy coastline. The sandy-gold hoist and rose-red fly halves of the flag recall the common nickname for the area of "Lancashire-beyond-the-sands". It may be noted that the three colours of red, green and yellow are also those of the county flag of Lancashire.
Valentin Poposki, 29 June 2020

Now that Furness has been moved into the county of Cumbria's administrative territory this proposed flag may have to be re-thought and may have become a bit of historical trivial.
Pete Loeser, 27 October 2020