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Berwickshire, Scotland

Last modified: 2023-12-23 by rob raeside
Keywords: berwickshire |
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image located by Jason Saber, 13 November 2023

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A Flag for Berwickshire

The flag is horizontally divided blue over green by a white chain of seven links. In the blue field, a white fish, in the green field, a yellow ear of barley.

This is the design that was submitted in the open competition. It was one of 203 entries. The judging panel, including the Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire, selected 29 designs for the first shortlist. The judging panel refined the shortlist to five final options. Philip Tibbetts – Lyon Court Vexillologist for Scotland and a Herald for the Lyon Court – redrew the designs to heraldic standard and they were put out to the public vote. The design that Philip Tibbetts drew up from this original went on to win by a majority over all others put together. The Lord Lyon has now authorised by Warrant the design.

The central chain represents the Union Chain Bridge, which in turn signifies the link Berwickshire forms between Scotland and England and the historic fluctuations of the border, like the tide coming in and out and up and down the river Tweed. The salmon reflects the importance of our sea fishing industry and recreational river and sea fishing activities, as well as the Berwickshire Marine Reserve off our shores. The ear of barley reflects our ancient and modern agricultural activities in the hinterland and a possible origin for the name Berwickshire. 
Jason Saber, 13 November 2023

The development of a flag for Berwickshire

Scottish Borders Council communicated that the Berwickshire Area Committee agreed to explore the views of the Scottish Government/Transport Scotland on the flying of flags 'in addition to the Saltire at the Scottish/English Border at Lamberton Toll on the main trunk road on the East Coast between Scotland and England. It was suggested at the time that the flags might include 'a new flag incorporating the Berwickshire Coast of Arms'.

Transport Scotland advised that it did not have a policy on flag flying adjacent to the trunk road network, and that a formal proposal would require public consultation and 'non-standard' flags would require prior approval. Following consultation with the County of Northumberland (England), Transport Scotland indicated it was unable to give an in-principle agreement as wider consultation with local and national agencies would be needed. There were no plans to alter the flags at the lay-by.

Further inquiries by John Moody revealed that there is a desire to develop a county flag and have three flags on the Scottish Border. On the English side is the Union Jack, the English St. George's cross and the Northumberland Flag. The Scottish side has three saltires with a Gaelic welcome. The Queen's representative was arranging a design, yet to be registered, but the issues surrounding permission to hoist any other flag on the poles at the border remain a problem. Berwickshire Area Partnership is unwilling to pursue registration of a flag until permission to raise it alongside the Saltire and the Union Jack at the Border is obtained.

There was a wish to include a tree, and a chained bear "similar to the Duns flag". FOTW does not know the Duns flag. Heraldry of the World at does not show any trees or bears on the arms of Duns.
John Moody, 11 August 2019

I also have no idea about the "Duns flag", and an internet search only turns up the flag of Duns Dootball club (a R-N horizontal bicolour with the letters DFC in white across the centre). I did however find this, purported to be the flag of Berwick-upon-Tweed, which may be the flag referred to:

I also found an article on the Berwickshire proposal which showed two potential designs for a new flag:
James Dignan, 11 August 2019

At is an indication of the intent to hold a competition for the flag later in 2023.
Jason Saber, 18 February 2023

A Berwickshire flag competition set for June (2023)
Jason Saber, 13 May 2023

The five finalists in the Berwickshire flag competition have been announced:

image located by Jason Saber, 28 September 2023

The name 'Berwick' is incorporated as a bear and a wych elm. The county has been associated with this combined emblem for over a century, they were deliberately deployed as canting arms to reflect the county’s name.
Jason Saber, 28 September 2023

Masao Okazaki, 28 September 2023