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Battle, East Sussex (England)

Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rob raeside
Keywords: battle | east sussex | sussex |
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[Flag of the United Kingdom] image located by Vanja Poposki, 6 October 2012

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Description of the flag

Battle unfurls the new flag
BATTLE’S new town flag made its first ever public appearance at the Battle Town Council meeting on Tuesday night.

The wind and rain in the early part of the day gave way to evening sunshine as council Chairman Ron Harris hauled the flag to the top of the flagpole at The Almonry.

He told those gathered that previous Chairman David Hussey had been a great champion for the idea of a town flag and it was fitting that, by coincidence, the flag was raised on the same day as David’s funeral.
Vanja Poposki, 8 October 2012

Development of the flag

The town of Battle (6,171 inhabitants in 2007; 3,180 ha) is located in East Sussex. Battle emerged beyond the walls of the Battle Abbey, built in 1068-1074 on the Hastings battlefield by William the Conqueror. In the 17th century, Battle was the center for gunpowder industry.

The Battle town flag, unveiled on 17 April 2012 by the Town Council, is white with a red Cross of St. George, the town's official emblem in upper left corner and the Abbey gatehouse in lower right corner. - Photo, "Rye & Battle Observer", 22 April 2012

Details on the adoption of the flag are given in different official documents available on the town's website.

28 September 2010 (Communications Committee meeting)
As agreed at the Council meeting on 17 August the Committee considered various options for the design of a Battle flag. In particular they looked at proposals prepared by Roy Calthorpe which had paid due regard to elements of the town’s history and appropriate heraldic images. Subject to some minor alterations the Committee agreed to recommend to Council that the design should be considered.

19 October 2010 (Council meeting)
She [Cllr Mrs Pry] also reported the Committee’s discussion about options for the design of a Battle flag. In the light of the Committee’s initial deliberations a revised design had been produced and was tabled. She recommended that this should be adopted. Members agreed subject to the corporate image at the centre of the flag design being strengthened. It was also agreed that the next step should be public consultation.

21 December 2010 (Council meeting)
The Clerk had submitted a press release covering the public consultation process about the Battle flag in the hope that it would be included in the 17 December edition of the local paper. However, space prevented this and it will now be published on 31 December.

4 January 2011 (Communications Committee meeting)
The Battle Observer had carried a piece about the proposed flag in its 31st December edition. This had already provoked some reaction, mainly to support the idea of a flag but equally, to suggest a number of alternative designs. In general, the Committee endorsed the view that more vibrant colours should be used. After some discussion of the latest suggestions the Committee agreed the key symbols to be included in four quadrants. The Clerk was asked to arrange for a mock up for consideration at the next Council meeting.

18 January 2011 (Council Meeting)
Regarding the flag, the Clerk had circulated a revised design taking into account the various comments received from the public consultation, as well as the Flag Institute’s desire for simplicity and the basic rules of heraldry. He had subsequently received further advice questioning the validity of some of the iconography and offered, as a further option, a design based on the arms of Battle Abbey. However, this demoted the current corporate symbol of the town which some Members felt should be the principal element. With no consensus the Communications Committee were asked to consider the matter again with particular reference to the way in which any flag might be used and its marketing potential.

8 March 2011 (Communications Committee meeting)
The Committee had been asked by Council to consider this matter again with particular reference to the way in which any flag might be used & its marketing potential. In terms of use the Committee identified a number of parades & events where display of the flag would be appropriate. As such, in marketing terms, it would promote the town’s identity. It could also lead to the development of merchandise based on the same design. However Cllr Hussey felt that the initiative for a flag, & the initial incentives which had been offered, were now past & that nothing further should be done for the time being, particularly as there are other important issues facing the Council. A formal vote on this was taken & the proposal lost by 4 votes to 2. Returning to the design of the flag two things were agreed – that the cross of St George should be the basic structure & that the corporate style of the Town Council (the helmet & arrow) should feature, perhaps in one quarter. Otherwise it should be kept simple perhaps with another symbol unique to Battle in a second quarter. This general approach was agreed & Cllr Jessop will sketch a few options for alternative designs.

15 March 2011 (Council meeting)
Regarding the flag she [Cllr Mrs Pry] tabled a design now produced by Cllr Jessop. As anticipated at the Committee meeting this has the cross of St George as the basic structure with the corporate style of the Town Council in one quarter. A second quarter has the outline of the Abbey Gatehouse, the other 2 quarters being left blank. The flag is in a shield shape which would provide flexibility of use. Members unanimously supported this simple, yet effective, design.

17 May 2011 (Council Annual meeting)
In the light of the discussion which had taken place at the meeting on 15 March Cllr Mrs Howell had made a flag to full scale reflecting the design which had been proposed by Cllr Jessop and discussed. Members congratulated her on such an excellent result. Cllr Wilson therefore proposed that the design now be formally approved. This was unanimously agreed. The Clerk was asked to investigate the cost of manufacture but, in the meantime, the flag made by Cllr Mrs Howell could be used at the Civic Service.

14 June 2011 (Communications Committee meeting)
Following the dedication of the flag at the Civic Service it was agreed that it should now be manufactured and developed as a marketing opportunity. Enquiries should also be made of the Flag Institute to see whether the flag meets the design criteria for registration.

4 July 2011 ("Townlife" newsletter)
After many months of deliberation and consultation the Town Council finally endorsed the design of a new Town Flag at its meeting in May. Finding a design which was not too complicated but incorporated sufficient elements to show what it symbolises proved very difficult. Bearing in mind that their inability to land allegedly indicates the constant quest for knowledge, learning and adventure the inclusion of martlets in the design was an obvious suggestion! There were arguments in favour of references to the dissolution of the monasteries and to the coats of arms of both King Harold and William the Conqueror. Should there be something to reflect our association with a maritime County? Those with knowledge of the rules of heraldry threw in guidance about the relationship between particular colours. But simplicity won the day and the agreed design based on the cross of St George incorporates the familiar helmet with an arrow through it, previously adopted by the Council as the town’s official emblem, and the Abbey gatehouse already used by a number of organisations including the Chamber of Commerce. The flag was dedicated at the recent Civic Service in St Mary’s Church. (with a photo of the shield-shaped flag)

18 October 2011 (Council meeting)
The issues about copyright and property rights relating to the flag were discussed and it was agreed that all Members should sign the appropriate documentation individually and specifically in respect of the flag. The Clerk was asked to pursue any remaining issues relating to the protection of copyright.

3 January 2012 (Communications Committee meeting)
Following Cllr Hussey’s resignation Cllr Harris had reviewed progress and is in touch with the preferred flag maker regarding the details identified at the previous meeting. The Committee agreed that the aim should be to have the flag(s) available in time for the Parish Assembly on 9 May.

17 January 2012 (Council meeting)
Regarding the flag Cllr Harris said that he is continuing to discuss with the preferred contractor various aspects of design and manufacture, not least the need to create a rectangular flag. Based on information now available Cllr Harris proposed that 3 rectangular flags plus one shield shaped banner should be acquired at a cost not exceeding £700, seconded by Cllr Bye. This was approved unanimously.

13 March 2012 (Communications Committee meeting)
The Clerk confirmed that the final design of the flag had been agreed and an order placed for its manufacture. Delivery is expected within the next 2-3 weeks.

20 March 2012 (Council meeting)
The new flag had arrived and was displayed. It was agreed that this should be formally unfurled and raised before the next Council meeting at 7.15 pm.
Ivan Sache, 28 April 2012