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Borough of Swindon (England)

English Town

Last modified: 2022-09-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: wiltshire | swindon |
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[Flag of Swindon, Wiltshire, England] image by Pete Loeser, 9 November 2020
Swindon Borough Council Flag
(Image based in this photo located by Olivier Touzeau, 8 November 2020.)

On this page:

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Introduction: Borough of Swindon

The Borough of Swindon is a local government authority in South West England, centered on the town of Swindon and forming part of the ceremonial county of Wiltshire.
In 1974 the Thamesdown district of Wiltshire was created from the areas of the municipal borough of Swindon (created 1900) and Highworth Rural District (created 1894).
On 1 April 1997 it was made administratively independent of Wiltshire County Council, and its council became a unitary authority. The council adopted the name Swindon on 24 April 1997.
Source: Wikipedia: Borough of Swindon
Olivier Touzeau, 8 November 2020

Unusual among most modern English city websites the Borough of Swindon takes the time to provide a detail explanation of the history and background of its leadership positions and organization, including their coat of arms and shields. For those interested, it is an informative read. Here are some selected excerpts:

- The Borough of Swindon was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1900 and therefore appointed its first Mayor the same year...
- The Mayor has long been recognised as being, in his or her own Borough, second only to Royalty and the Queen's Deputy, the Lord Lieutenant, but this high standing is mainly now one of honour and dignity rather than legal powers. During the Middle Ages, the Mayor, by whatever name he may have been known, seems to have held a position very similar to that of his modern successors in that he was acknowledged as head of the town, but by this time had a Council to support him. For ceremonial, sporting and other reasons, the County of Wiltshire continues even though Swindon is now, in fact a County in it's own right...
- The travelling and other personal expenses of the Lord Lieutenant are met by the Home Office. The administrative costs of the Lieutenancy are borne jointly by Wiltshire County Council and Swindon Borough Council. The Lord Lieutenant is the Queen's representative throughout the whole of the County of Wiltshire (including Swindon)...
- In 1996 the Secretary of State for the Environment supported the recommendation of the Boundary Commission and decided that, as from 1st April 1997, the Borough Council would become a Unitary Authority. Local inhabitants were asked what they would like the Borough to be called, and by a large majority "Borough of Swindon" was chosen.

The complete document "The Office of Mayor - History, Civic, Legal And Social Precedence" can be downloaded as a pdf file.
Pete Loeser, 11 November 2020

Description of the Swindon Borough Council Flag

The current Swindon Borough Council has a white flag with their coat of arms (1997 version) centered upon it.
Sources: A2Dominion Website and this article from The Swindonian News.
Olivier Touzeau, 8 November 2020

Proposed Swindon Flag

[Proposed Swindon Flag, Wiltshire, England] image provided by Torin Clements, 31 January 2022

I've designed a proposed Swindon flag based upon chevron layout from the County flag of Wiltshire. utilising the first or principal colours from the Coat of Arms, blue and white. These colours can be found in the Torse & the Mantling upon the current Borough Coat of Arms. The flag design depicts a stylised steam locomotive wheel in gold and blue sat upon a white field with blue downward pointing chevrons. The colours are used to represent the borough motto, “Salubritas et Industria” - Health & Industriousness. The steam locomotive wheel represents the famed Swindon locomotive works to which Swindon owes its disposition.

Colour meanings within the flag design:

  • Blue - Wartime aircraft production at Vickers South Marston and the former RAF Wroughton.
  • White - Swindon's automotive and modern day industries.
  • Blue & White - The combined colours represent the ‘cradle to grave’ service formed in 1892 by the GWR medical fund society, the service it provided is regarded as the blueprint of the national health service.
  • Gold - A detailing colour on the Coat of Arms used to represent Swindon’s wealth, prosperity, economy and industrial heritage (the brass finishings of Great Western steam locomotives).
The Chevrons each represent a significant hill in Swindon’s topography detailed below in ascending order from North to South:
  • 1st chevron - Highworth Hill
  • 2nd chevron - Swindon Hill (Old Town)
  • 3rd chevron - Barbury Hill
  • 4th (complete chevron) - Liddington Hill
Torin Clements, 5 September 2022

The general design is clearly inspired by that of the flag of Wiltshire.
Tomislav Todorovic, 31 January 2022

Swindon Coat of Arms
Swindon Unitary Authority 1997-present

[Coat of Arms for Swindon Borough, Wiltshire, England] image provided by Olivier Touzeau, 8 November 2020

Description of the current coat of arms, from the office of the Mayor (edited):

The Coat of Arms incorporates elements of the three predecessor Arms Swindon (1900-74), Highworth (1968-74) and Thamesdown (1974-97).

At the top of the shield is a picture of King George V, the most famous engine produced in the Railway Workshops, which were a feature of the town from its early Great Western Railway days right up to the closure of the B.R.E.L. works in 1986. This represents the importance of the railway industry in the development of Swindon, and the contribution it made to communications.

The lower part of the shield is quartered with the diagonal sections mirrored. The blue quarters contain the hammers which were present in both the Swindon and Highworth Arms. All three previous Coats of Arms possessed castles, the Swindon Arms derived from the Vilett family, prominent landowners in the pre-railway period in the area later known as "New Town" and Liddington Fort and Barbury Castle from the Highworth area. On the red quarters is shown a sheaf or garb from the Highworth Arms, to signify the fertility of the area.

The Swan appeared in the Highworth Arms and was carried forward to the Thamesdown Arms. It represents the River Thames in the north of the Borough. The crown on a hill appeared in both the Highworth and Thamesdown Arms and represents the "high north" (settlement) and the green of the downs.

On either side of the shield are found winged horses which are used in heraldry as symbols of wisdom, ingenuity and industry. The Pegasus or winged horse began its heraldic life as a symbol of inspiration. This is reinforced by the fact that the winged horses are breathing out flames of knowledge. Around the neck of each is suspended the crescent derived from the arms of the Goddard Family which was prominent in the Old Town Area of Swindon in the pre-railway era. The motto Salubritas et Industria (Health and Industry) comes originally from the old Swindon Arms, but was also retained in the Thamesdown era.

Official Blazon:

  • Arms: Quarterly per fess Azure and Gules in the first and fourth quarters, a Mural Crown Argent enfiled by two Hammers in saltire Or and in the second and third quarters a Garb Or on a Chief Argent a representation of the "George V" Locomotive proper.
  • Crest: Upon a Helm with a Wreath Argent and Azure upon a Mount Vert within a Crown Vallary or a Swan rising Argent legged and beaked proper collared per fess embattled Sable and Or supporting with the dexter claw an automobile Wheel proper Mantled Azure doubled Argent.
  • Supporters: on either side a Pegaus Argent maned and unguled Or breathing flames proper about their necks a collar Gules pendant there from by a chain Gules Crest Azure.
  • Motto: Salubritas et Industria
The final design by Mr. Robert Noel, Bluemantle Pursuivant of the College, was approved by the Borough Council in December of 1996.
Source: "The Office of Mayor - History, Civic, Legal And Social Precedence."
Olivier Touzeau, 8 November 2020

Swindon Borough Coat of Arms
Thamesdown Unitary Authority 1974-97*

[Coat of Arms for Swindon Borough, Wiltshire, England] image provided by Pete Loeser, 8 November 2020
* On 1st April 1997, the Borough Council of Swindon became a Unitary Authority in the geographical area previously covered by the Borough of Thamesdown.

"The arms for the borough were officially granted on September 23, 1901. The Great Western Railway engine 'Lord of the Isles' speaks for itself as alluding to the industry to which Swindon owes its rise.
The three silver crescents are a prominent feature in the arms of the Goddard family, who have held the Manor of Swindon since 1560, and indicates the close connection of the Goddard Manor with the Borough of Swindon.
The three castles are likewise a prominent feature in the arms of the Vilett family, who for a long period held the Manor upon which a considerable portion of New Swindon was built.
The mitre symbolises Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, who after the Norman Conquest was granted the Manor of Swindon by his half-brother, William the Conqueror.
The winged wheel denotes motion, or the swiftness of railway traveling. This quarter may be taken to represent modern Swindon. The hand holding hammers symbolizes mechanical industry, to which modern Swindon owes its position. The hammers are golden to typify the prosperity which results from all well-applied industry."

Official Blazon:

  • Arms: Quarterly per fess nebuly Azure and Gules a Pile Argent thereon three Crescents of the second in the first quarter three Castles one and two of the third in the second a Mitre Or in the third and a winged Wheel of the last in the fourth a Chief also of the third thereon a Locomotive Engine proper.
  • Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours a dexter Arm embowed proper grasping two Hammers in saltire Or.
  • Motto: "Salubritas Et Industria" - Health and industry
Source: Heraldry of the World: Swindon.
Pete Loeser, 9 November 2020

Swindon Police and Fire Services

[police and fire badges for Swindon Borough, Wiltshire, England]badge images located by Pete Loeser, 8 November 2020

Both the Police services and Fire and Rescue Services for the Borough of Swindon are provided by Wiltshire and Dorset County. The Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was the county-wide emergency fire and rescue service for the ceremonial county of Wiltshire between 1948 and 2016. In 2016 the Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was merged into the new Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The Wiltshire Police, formerly known as Wiltshire Constabulary, are the territorial police force responsible for policing the county of Wiltshire, including the Borough of Swindon.
More information about both police and fire services, and their flags, can be found on the Wiltshire page.
Pete Loeser, 11 October 2020

Swindon City Football Club

[Swindon City Football Club, England]    [Swindon City Football Club, England] images by Pete Loeser, 8 November 2020
Images based on this photo and this photo.

The Swindon Town Football Club is a professional football club based in Swindon. Founded as Swindon AFC in 1879, they became "Spartans" the next year, before finally settling on the name Swindon Town in 1883. The team currently competes in League One. The club has played their home matches at the County Ground since 1896. Today they are known as the "Robins", their home colours are red and white. The Swindon Town Ladies FC were established in 1993 and compete today as the Swindon Town Women Football Club (STWFC).
Pete Loeser, 8 November 2020

A Couple Commercial Variants (there are many more)

[Swindon City Football Club, England]   [Swindon City Football Club, England] images by Pete Loeser, 8 November 2020

SCTC Team Logos since the 1970s

[Swindon City Football Club, England]Traffic Sign Crest c1970-1986   [Swindon City Football Club, England]  Diamond Crest 1991-2007   [Swindon City Football Club, England] Current Crest 2007-2020 (present)
images located by Pete Loeser, 8 November 2020 - SCTC Team Logos are trade marks™ of the Swindon City Football Club.