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Shropshire (England)

Traditional English County

Last modified: 2021-03-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: shropshire | england |
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[Flag for Shropshire] image by Jason Saber, 8 September 2012

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Introduction: Shropshire
Also known as Salop since Norman times

Shropshire (Salop) is a landlocked historical English county, both traditional and ceremonial, boxed in between Wales, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. It has five major towns, the county town of Shrewsbury, and Telford, Oswestry, Bridgnorth and Ludlow. Telford has now annexed a number of small older towns such as Wellington, Dawley and Madeley. The county also has many market towns, including Whitchurch, Newport, and Market Drayton. The Severn River, Britain's longest river, runs through the county, exiting into Worcestershire via the Severn Valley.
This whole area was part of the lands of the Celtic iron age tribe of the Cornovii whose lands contained the areas of the modern counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of Powys. Subjugated under Roman rule the Roman town of Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter) became their capital and one of the largest Roman settlements in Britain. After the Roman occupation of Britain, the Shropshire area was first part of the Welsh Kingdom of Powys, then conquered by the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia by King Offa in the 8th century. In the following centuries the area became targeted by Viking invasions. After the Norman conquest in 1066, many defensive constructions were built to protect the area from both the Danes and Welsh, including Ludlow Castle and Shrewsbury Castle. The county was a central part of the Welsh Marches during the medieval period and was often embroiled in the power struggles between powerful lords, earls and successive monarchs.
The Coalbrookdale area of the county is designated "the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution", due to significant technological developments that happened there. The Ironbridge Gorge area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley. There are other historic industrial sites in the county, such as at Shrewsbury, Broseley, Snailbeach and Highley, as well as the Shropshire Union Canal
Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

Description of the Shropshire Flag
The Shropshire Banner of Arms

The Shropshire flag is now included in the UK Flag Registry. It is described on the Registry as being "traditional", and designed by the College of Arms. "The design is a banner of the county council arms which were awarded in 1895. The leopards' faces, fondly referred to as loggerheads locally, are a traditional emblem for Shropshire (also known as Salop) and have historically evolved from the lions heads on the Shrewsbury town arms which themselves were first recorded in 1623."

  • Flag Type: County Flag.
  • Flag Date: 18 June 1896.
  • Flag Designer: College of Arms.
  • Adoption Route: Local Council.
  • UK Design Code: UNKG7430.
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:5.
  • Pantone® Colours: Black, (Reflex) Blue, Yellow.
Source: Flag Institute: UK Flag Registry: Shropshire.
Valentin Poposki, 2 July 2020

Shropshire Flags
Commercial Variant #1

[Commerical Flag for Shropshire #1] image located by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

The Commercial Manufacturers attempt at a Shropshire flag looks more like a football fan flag.
Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

Commercial Variant #2

[Commerical Flag for Shropshire #2] image by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021
based on this photo located by Ian MacDonald, 14 July 2010

This flag is being marketed for Shropshire. The coat of arms shows three lions or leopards on a blue and yellow shield (the same colours as Shrewsbury Town F.C.)
Many thanks to Liz Woodall who writes "What I can tell you is that the three heads are known in the county as loggerheads (leopards' heads), and there is a small town of the same name on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border." She goes on to say that the coat of arms was developed by the county council in 1896.
The description of this flag would be: An ermine "W" extending to the edges, white along the edges, and three yellow lion heads on blue triangles "inside" the "W". (source)
Ian MacDonald, 14 July 2010

Commercial Variant #3

[Commerical Flag for Shropshire #3] image by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021
illustration is based on this photo.

Prior to the registration of the now commonly accepted blue and gold Shropshire Council banner, these two versions were commercially available. Both unaccountably replaced the very distinctive gold color "W" design with a white one. Having the leopard faces appear on the three "piles" (a triangular divisions of a shield, two pointing down and one up) is in heraldic terminology a fess dancetty. The first (variant #2) flag with a crude leopard image was flown over the Department for Communities and Local Government building in London in April 2011. The second one (variant #3) is rendered with what looks like a male lion logo and existed, but wasn't a leopard...Oops.
Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

Shropshire County Council
Flag and Logos

[Flag for Shropshire] image located by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

The Shropshire County Council has not identified any particular design as an "official" County Council flag and seems to use the registered general Shropshire flag for its activities. There is also quite a selection of logo designs in general use as illustrated below.
Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

[Flag for Shropshire]       [Flag for Shropshire]
images located by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

Shropshire Coat of Arms

[Flag for Shropshire] image located by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

These arms were officially granted in 1896 and continued by the new authority in 2009. "The leopards' faces in these arms were adopted by the County Council in 1895 from the Borough of Shrewsbury. It is only in the incorporation of the ermine that the County arms differ from those of the Borough. The heads appear on the fifteenth century seal of the Corporation, but their origin is unknown. They may have been derived from the Royal Arms, or from the Arms of De La Pole, Earls of Suffolk in the fourteenth century (Azure, a chevron, and three leopards' faces Or), or arms of some local family. The heads are often referred to as 'the loggerheads'. This originates presumably in the practice of carving some such motif on the head of the log used as a battering ram."

Official Blazon

  • Arms: Erminois, three pile azure, two issuant from the chief and one in base, each charged with a leopard's face Or.
  • Motto: Floreat Salopia means "May Shropshire flourish!" - Salop is the standard abbreviation for Shropshire.
Source: Heraldry of the World: Shropshire.
Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service
Flag, Badge and Logo

[Flag for Shropshire] SFRS Flag     [Flag for Shropshire] SFRS Badge
images by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) covers all of Shropshire, including Telford and Wrekin. They have 23 fire stations around the county. They currently have 46 engines and a number of specialist vehicles for use in the county.
Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service Logo

[Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service Logo] image by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

Shropshire COVID-19 Flag Protection Mask

[Flag for Shropshire] image located by Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021

With the 2020 Pandemic masks have become a necessary fashion statement and a way of life as this Shropshire flag mask can acknowledge.
Pete Loeser, 22 February 2021