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East Anglia (England)

English Region

Last modified: 2020-09-19 by rob raeside
Keywords: east anglia | crowns: 3 (yellow) |
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[East Anglia Flag UK] image from Pete Loeser, 18 September 2020
From The Flag Institute Registry.

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Introduction: East Anglia

East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England. It dates back to the 6th Century when a tribe called the Anglia (from northern German) established the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles. At the height of its power it covered an area roughly covering the modern counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and into parts of Cambridgeshire. East Anglia became the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, at least briefly, following a victory over Northumbria around 616. The East Anglian King Raedwald was named Bretwalda or overlord of all the Anglo-Saxons kingdoms. A shield of three golden crowns, placed two above one, on a blue background has been used as a symbol of East Anglia for centuries.
Pete Loeser, 18 September 2020

Description of the Flag

I understand that it was invented in the 19th Century by some East Angles living in London and incorporates the flag of St. George with the arms of the Wuffingas Dynasty on a shield in the centre. The Wuffingas were the "son of Wuffa" the founder of the ruling family of the East Angles. Their last king was Saint Edmund King  and Martyr who was killed in a particularly nasty way by the Vikings in the 10th Century and was canonised for his troubles.
James Frankcom, 19 September 2005

Except for the special case of Cornwall, which is more an assimilated Celtic nation rather than an English region, the only English regional flag that has had much popular acceptance is that of East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk - sometimes extended to include some or all of Cambridgeshire and Essex), designed in (I think) 1903 or 1905 for the London Society of East Anglians. It is the Cross of St George of England with over the centre of the cross the shield of the traditional arms of East Anglia, blue with three gold crowns. The arms are effectively identical to the small arms of Sweden, from where the East Anglian royal dynasty, the Wuffingas, were supposed to have originated.
David Prothero, 2 June 1999

There is a medieval map of the English "heptarchy", a period where there were seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms at war with each other. This map, made I believe in the 12th Century after the heptarchy period is illustrated with banners of the kingdoms. Those shown for Essex, Kent and Sussex appear to be very similar to their "county standards" today, while East Anglia has three crowns on a white background, Mercia appears to have a white dragon of some kind.
James Frankcom, 30 July 2001

In article about the flags of the Isles of Scilly, Scilly News reported the flag of East Anglia three yellow crowns arranged 2 and 1 on a blue field, essentially the same as the Three Crowns of Sweden.
W. Madsen, 24 June 2002

The town of Bury St. Edmunds (Suffolk) also uses the three crowns on its coat of arms.
James Dignan, 22 September 2005

From The Flag Institute Registry:

  • Flag Type: Provincial Flag
  • Flag Date: 1900's
  • Flag Designer: London Society of East Anglians
  • Adoption Route: Traditional
  • UK Design Code: UNKG7407
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:5
  • Pantone© Colours: White, Red 186, Blue 286, Gold 116
  • Certification: Flag Institute Chief Vexillologist, Graham Bartram
Source: The Flag Institute Registry
Pete Loeser, 18 September 2020

East Anglia Traditional Coat of Arms

[East Anglia Coat of Arms] image by Pete Loeser, 18 September 2020

From The Flag Institute Registry: "The East Anglia Flag is a community flag proclaiming the unique identity of this historic region. The blue shield bearing three gold crowns is the arms of East Anglia, derived from the Wuffingas Dynasty which ruled in Saxon times." (The Flag Institute Registry)
Strangely enough, these arms are almost identical to the arms of Sweden.
Pete Loeser, 18 September 2020