Lincolnshire’s colourful flag was registered on October 24th, 2005. It was the winning entry in a competition to select a flag for the county. This had been sparked by a letter to a local magazine, County News, from two readers keen to raise the county’s profile. Fred and Pat Rickett, from the Lincolnshire town of Moulton, keen caravanners, wrote in 2003 to enquire why Lincolnshire had no flag that they could fly on caravan rallies. Their plea was taken up by BBC Radio Lincolnshire, who launched the campaign in partnership with Lincolnshire Life magazine. The campaign was supported by many local businesses, who recognised an opportunity to promote trade and tourism.
The flag was designed by Lincolnshire born Michelle Andrews who worked at the radio station. The red cross and gold Fleur de Lys at its centre are taken from the arms of the county town, Lincoln
which are often depicted as an armorial banner
In these arms the gold fleur-de-lis on a Saint George’s cross represents the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of both Lincoln Cathedral and the city of Lincoln. The gold fleur de lys of Lincoln city, had similarly been previously incorporated into the arms awarded to the Lincolnshire county council in 1977
The alternating green and blue quadrants formed by the red cross, represent respectively, the county’s agricultural heritage, and the sea off its long coastline and wide blue skies. The cross is edged in gold, a reference both to the golden crops grown in the county and the distinctive nickname “Yellerbellies” given to people born and bred in Lincolnshire.
This successful flag had been one of six finalists selected for the final vote. The other five proposals, which featured some common themes and colours were;
a flag with three horizontal bands
representing the green of the fields and the celebrated shade of cloth termed “Lincoln Green”, the yellow of the locally produced corn and the county’s beaches and the blue of the sea and sky; a yellow flag bearing a green cross edged in red and white
a simple and bold yellow cross on a green background
again to represent Yellerbellies, beaches and crops, set against Lincoln Green; a similar design but with the colours reversed, which embodies the phrase ‘Proud to be a Yellowbelly’;
and finally the same green and gold design
celebrating the themes of the county’s rural traditions and the ‘Yellerbellies’ nickname but prominently including the armorial banner of the county town in the canton.
The competition reportedly attracted thousands of votes and the winning design was actively celebrated
with local children encouraged to display the flag
In 2011 it was raised outside the offices of the government’s Department for Communities and Local government
A Lincolnshire Day, October 1st, was chosen in 2006 by voters. The county flag is prominently displayed on this date, as seen here on the back of a long distance runner venturing across the fenland in Ocotber 2011.
The flag has been taken up with enthusiasm across the county. Here
it flies over the church in the village of Colsterworth and is seen here
over Lincoln Castle. It adorns a council building in Grantham
and flies over the White Hart in Boston
It is seen here
outside the old chapel in Gainsborough. The flag was also taken to the North Pole by Arctic adventurer Andrew Pearce
whose wife is from the county.
The flag has been adapted as a company logo
and produced as a cooking apron
amongst other uses.