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Oxford University - Merton College (England)

The House or College of Scholars of Merton in the University of Oxford

Last modified: 2020-11-21 by rob raeside
Keywords: oxford university | merton college |
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[Flag of Merton College] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 February 2019
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Description of the flag

Merton College of Oxford University flag is shown at, a Flickr photo by "etnobofin" uploaded 23 Jun 2007. It is a banner of arms - see college website at
Jan Mertens, 22 November 2008

The arms are of Walter of Merton, Bishop of Rochester and founder of the college. Unlike many of the other Oxford colleges, the college arms are not modified slightly from those of the founder.
(1) Personal conversation, Postmaster of Merton College, May 1989
(2) Personal observation and photograph, St Michael's Church, Basingstoke, 17 November 2008 (Walter is depicted on an painting attached to the altar there, along with his arms and those of his diocese. Walter's parents appear to be buried there.)
(3) National Portrait Gallery, D23972, Walter de Merton, Bishop of Rochester, artist Rudolph Ackermann, dated early nineteenth century, as consulted 23 November 2008
(4) ibid, National Portrait Gallery, D23974
(5) ibid, National Portrait Gallery, D23973
(6) Malden, The Environs of London: volume 1: County of Surrey (1792), pp. 332-337, as consulted, 23 November 2008
Colin Dobson, 23 November 2008

Blazon: “Or, three chevrons per pale, the first Azure and Gules, the second Gules and Azure, the third as the first” found here:
Jan Mertens, 22 February 2009

The flag is a banner of arms (ratio 1:1).
Shield Or, three chevronels parted per pale, the first and third Azure and Gules, the second Gules and Azure.
Motto on white scroll beneath: “QUI TIMET DEUM FACIET BONA” (~= the one who fears God, acts right
The college vies with Balliol for being the second college of the University. It was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, Bishop of Rochester. His arms are taken from arms of the Clare kin, which bore a shield Or three chevronels Gules, for two members of this kin helped in the foundation. Sometimes different college arms can be found, a shield parted per pale displaying the current arms at sinister and “Argent a saltire Gules, charged in centre with a scallop Or” at dexter. The dexter side displays the arms of the Bishopric of Rochester. St. Andrew is the patron saint of bishopric. The shell distinguished the Bishopric of Rochester from the Abbey, for their arms were otherwise identical.
Source: John P. Brooke-Little: Oxford University and its Colleges, Oxford 1962(?), available online at and,_Oxford.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 February 2019


[Blade] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 March 2019
Blade is white with red Greek cross, i.e. the flag pattern.

Source: (for current versions):
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 March 2019