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Lancashire (England)

Traditional English County

Last modified: 2020-10-31 by rob raeside
Keywords: lancashire | duchy of lancaster |
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[Flag of Lancashire] image by Jason Saber, 6 July 2008


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Introduction: Lancashire

Lancashire is now a ceremonial county in northwest England, but it was originally a traditional county and much larger in size. Because of this many places outside of the modern county still identify strongly with Lancashire, such as areas of Greater Manchester and Liverpool. While the modern administrative center for the county is in Preston, the City of Lancaster is considered the county seat, or county town. The modern borders of Lancashire were created by the Local Government Act of 1972.
The history of traditional Lancashire began in the Medieval Ages, but it emerged as a major commercial and industrial region during the Industrial Revolution. Liverpool and Manchester grew into its largest cities. By the 1830s, approximately 85% of all cotton manufactured worldwide was processed in Lancashire. The docks of Liverpool provided the means of trading and shipping as the population grew by leaps and bounds.
Today the ceremonial county is bordered by Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and North and West Yorkshire. It has a coastline on the Irish Sea to the west.
Pete Loeser, 26 October 2020


Description of the Lancashire Flag

Lancashire seems to have followed the tracks of Yorkshire (in having a flag recorded by the UK Flag Registry), but with less presence in the media. In the "Lancashire Evening Post", 29 July 2008, Chris Visser reported the registration of the new flag of Lancashire with the Flag Institute:
"The traditional red rose of Lancashire has turned yellow for the 21st century. For the first time, Lancastrians can wave this county flag...without having to get planning permission first. But as the Scottish town of Montrose had already registered a flag with a red rose and white background, Lancashire has had to brighten things up. This new design has now officially been registered with the Flag Institute 2008 meaning proud Lancastrians are free to wave it at will. Chris Dawson, chairman of the Friends of Real Lancashire, which registered the flag, said: "The Lancashire coat of arms is yellow and red, so the yellow seemed to be an appropriate colour. "It seems to have been favourably accepted by everyone who has seen it. I think it will show up better than the white, which often clashes against the clouds. We'd like to see everybody flying the Lancashire flag. We want to see it on public buildings."
The Flag Institute's chief flag expert, or vexillologist, Graham Bartram said: "One of our rules is that you can't have two flags which are the same, so we suggested that they modify the background. "It's quite a striking flag and we did research to make sure it was a Lancashire rose. The middle sepal on the Lancashire rose points upwards but downwards on the Yorkshire rose.""
Source: An article in The Lancashire Post.
Ivan Sache, 31 July 2008

  • Flag Type: County Flag
  • Flag Date: 20th November 2008
  • Flag Designer: Friends of Real Lancashire
  • Adoption Route: County Organisation
  • UK Design Code: UNKG7414
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:5
  • Pantone© Colours: Yellow 116, Red 485, Dark Red 201, Green 354
Source: The Flag Institute Registry: Lancashire.
Valentin Poposki, 28 June 2020


White Lancashire Flag (variant)

[Flag of Lancashire] image by Kevin Lea, 4 December 2007
Based on this image.

The emblem of Lancashire is the red rose, in contrast to the white rose of Yorkshire. However, this emblem does not seem to have been used on a flag. The red rose was originally a symbol of Lancaster, and seems to have been invented by Henry VII. He however used the combined "Tudor Rose", so the red rose alone would never have been used.
Nathan Lamm, 9 September 2002

There is, apparently, an official flag for Lancashire, but am reasonably certain that the one described above is not it. I have no background so cannot confirm that this is the design, but the one of which I am aware consists of three gold triangles (two upright and one reversed) on a red field, with three red roses one in the centre of each triangle. I have the definite feeling that the red rose on white described by James is actually a commercial venture, and despite what he was told the only flag I have ever seen flying from the County Hall in Preston is the Union Jack.
Christopher Southworth, 11 February 2006

I have seen a flag depicting the Lancashire rose flying outside what used to be the office block for Leyland Motors known as Lancaster House. It used to be flown alongside the Leyland Motors company logo flag at the front of the building. However since Leyland Motors closed down some years ago, and the building premises were taken over by Enterprise Inc., I have seen no flag(s) flying from that particular mast.
A member from the Leyland forums kindly sent me a picture of what I believe to be the flag that was sometimes flown from outside Lancaster House. I am familiar with the flag, the Red Rose had 5 equally spaced sepals with the 'pointer' sepal orientated face down on the flag, on a white background. I was also interested to notice that the orientation of the rose sepals on the flag was the same as which is depicted on its counterpart the Yorkshire flag. I cannot confirm whether this flag is official, my guess is that it will be as official as the Yorkshire counterpart.
Kevin Lea, 4 December 2007


Lancashire County Council Banner of Arms

[Banner of arms of Lancashire County Council] image by Pete Loeser, 19 October 2009

This flag is a banner of arms of Lancashire County Council.
Laurence Jones, 12 February 2006

The council was was first established in 1889 under the Local Government Act of 1888, to cover governing and administrating the traditional county. It was reconstituted under the Local Government Act 1972 to cover the different territory of the ceremonial Lancashire County. In the 1990s, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool left the area covered by the council.
This banner of arms represented both Lancashire (until 2008 and the adoption of the new county flag) and is still the Lancashire County Council flag.
Pete Loeser, 26 October 2020


Lancashire County Council Logos

[Lancashire County Council Logo] image by Pete Loeser, 19 October 2009

Currently the Lancashire County Council is at the top of a "two tier" system and has 15 local district councils beneath it. However, in July of 2020, the Lancashire County Council announced that it wanted to scrap itself and the 15 other district councils and replace them with three standalone authorities. The new authorities would be: 1. Central Lancashire (Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire), 2. North West Lancashire (Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster and Ribble Valley) and 3. East Pennine Lancashire (Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Rossendale, Hyndburn and Pendle). Each of these authorities would be governed by an elected mayor.
Although this logo has been reported used as a flag, no images could be found showing the actual flag.
Pete Loeser, 26 October 2020


Lancashire Coat of Arms

[Lancashire County Council Coat of Arms] image located by Pete Loeser, 19 October 2009
Source: Heraldry of the World.

Lancashire was granted this coat of arms in 1903. They feature the famous red rose of Lancaster, not surprising since the red rose appears in arms of most Lancashire towns and districts. The crest and supporters are derived from the Ferrers family arms, the Earls of Derby.

Official Blazon:

  • Arms: Gules three Piles two issuant from the chief and one in base Or each charged with a Rose of the field barbed and seeded proper.
  • Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours a Lion passant guardant proper charged on the body with a Mascle Gules and resting the dexter forepaw on an Escocheon of the above said Arms.
  • Supporters: On either side a Lion proper gorged with a Collar Vair pendent therefrom an Escocheon of the following Arms viz. Gules three Piles two issuant from the chief and one in base Or each charged with a Rose Gules barbed and seeded proper.
  • Motto: In Concilio Consilium - "In Council is Wisdom."
Source: Heraldry of the World: Lancashire.
Pete Loeser, 26 October 2020

Lancashire Constabulary
Logo and Flag

[Lancashire Constabulary logo]     [Lancashire Constabulary Flag]
images from Pete Loeser, 19 October 2009 - Logo based on this image.

The Lancashire Constabulary is the territorial police force, founded in 1839, serving the ceremonial county of Lancashire. The Lancashire Constabulary is the second largest police force in England (after the Metropolitan Police) and the largest county force in Great Britain. Its headquarters are in Hutton, near the city of Preston. Today the force consists of over 3,000 police officers. The constabulary has led the way in intelligence analysis and holds an annual intelligence analysis conference each year in Blackpool attended by members from police forces and law enforcement agencies from all over the United Kingdom.
Pete Loeser, 26 October 2020


Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
Logo and Flag

[Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Flag]     [Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Flag]
images from Pete Loeser, 19 October 2009 - Logo based on this image.

The Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service responsibilities are county-wide and includes the Blackpool and Blackburn and Darwen. The Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has the six area commands with about 35 crewed stations providing the whole of Lancashire with fire and emergency services.
Pete Loeser, 26 October 2020


Part of Furness Proposed Flag
No longer a sub-division of Lancashire, but now a division of Cumbria

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

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. Visit Regional Flag Proposal: Furness for more information.
Pete Loeser, 27 October 2020


West Lancashire Borough Council

[West Lancashire Borough Council] image by Pete Loeser, 19 October 2009

Within Lancashire there is the sub-district of West Lancashire. It was given borough status in Lancashire and formed in 1974 under the Local Government Act of 1972. It combined the old urban districts of Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Holland, with parts of West Lancashire and the old Wigan Rural District. Skelmersdale is the largest town in West Lancashire, but the West Lancashire Council is based in Ormskirk. The West Lancashire Council has its own coat of arms which it displays on both logos and flag.
Pete Loeser, 26 October 2020