The flag of Flintshire / Sir Y Fflint was registered on February 25th 2015. The design, a traditional county emblem, was proposed as the county flag by the Grŵp Cefnogwyr Baner Sir Fflint / Flintshire Flag Supporters Group and enjoyed extensive local support.
The arms from which the flag is formed
are attributed to the local 11th century ruler, Edwin of Tegeingl, a Welsh “cantref” and sometime kingdom, that covered much of the territory of Flintshire. They feature a black engrailed, flory cross on a white field, between four choughs, a bird once likely to have been widespread in the vicinity, in black and red. The bird occupied a symbolic place in Welsh cultural tradition and according to the 18th century Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant once flourished on the limestone range which runs along part of Flintshire’s coast, M.P. Siddons, in his 1993 work The Development of Welsh Heraldry, Vol. II reports that the arms first appear in the 14th century, on a seal used in 1389 by one ‘Le Grand Ithel’, a Flintshire soldier and probable descendant of Edwin who captained a body of Welshmen in the service of the French king during the Hundred Years War.
One of the earliest known appearances of the arms of Edwin of Tegeingl is in a window at Llanrhos church, just along the coast in Caernarfonshire, probably erected by, or commemorating Richard ap Hywel of Mostyn (c.1468-1540) who fought for Henry Tudor at Bosworth.
They are also seen on this plaque over the parlour fireplace at Gloddaith Hall, the family’s Caernarfonshire residence dated c.1550 bearing Thomas Mostyn’s initials.
Whilst the Mostyns did not claim Edwin Tegeingl as a patrilineal ancestor they consciously displayed his arms in celebration of their Flintshire heritage and landholdings. Considering the prevalence of the Mostyns in Flintshire’s administration and Parliamentary representation over the centuries, such usage underlines the status of the arms as a county emblem of long standing. The arms can be found above the entrance to the great hall at Mostyn in Flintshire, dated 1623.
The arms are also carved into a 16th century oak draw-leaf table at the hall.
Another early version appears in a late-16th century Welsh pedigree roll, probably by the poet Simwnt Fychan
In subsequent years Edwin Tegeingl’s arms embellished a number of properties across the county, including St. Mary’s church, Mold (first canton)
;St. James’ church, Holywell (mid-17th century):
;Pentrehobyn Hall, near Mold 17th century)
and over the entrance to Fferm, near Leeswood , an c.18th century example (replacing an earlier version)
The arms also appear in Thomas Pennant’s 1781 ‘A Tour In Wales’, in his account of Flintshire and the role of Edwin Tegeingl
The Tegeingl arms have also been used by the Flintshire county scouts as their badge
as proudly sported by this St Asaph troupe in 1947
The Flintshire Guides’ County Standard (made by Mrs. A.G. Edwards, wife to the Bishop of St. Asaph and Archbishop of Wales) was dedicated at a special ceremony held at St. Asaph cathedral on 30th May 1926:
A later version of the Flintshire county scouts badge.
In the 1920s, before receiving a formal award of arms, Flintshire County Council, created in 1889, adopted a rather grand depiction of the Edwin of Tegeingl arms as its seal, incorporating both the name Tegeingl and the year of its inception, between two Welsh dragons
as recounted by Henry Taylor in his 1925 article “The Arms of Flintshire” (Flintshire Historical Society publications page 64) .
This seal appeared on a certificate awarded to every Flintshire man who served in World War One and the families of those who died.
Efforts were then made by Flintshire County Council to register Edwin Tegeingl’s coat of arms as their own. The design was formally granted to the council on May 12th 1938 but was lightly augmented with the addition of four silver plates (discs) on the arms of the cross and a silver mascle ( a voided diamond) at its centre.
The council’s augmented version of the arms appears on the front cover
of the ‘Guide to the Flintshire Record Office’, published by the county’s first archivist M. Bevan-Evans in 1955 and can be seen on the sign outside Rhyl High School (pre 1974)
and on the side of a vehicle used by Flintshire County Council Ambulance Service (c.1972), based at Queensferry
The council’s version of the arms were also used by the County of Flint Fire Service on the cap badges
of the uniforms.
They are also seen on this 1960 fire engine
The arms have also been used by the county’s sporting bodies as seen on this county golf union plaque
and on the prize awarded to the winners of the “Flintshire Knockout Shield”
a county cricket competition, held here by the Mold team
as well as being used by the Flintshire Historical Society
The council arms are also seen in this 1958 image in quasi flag form
hoisted by representatives from the county at the Festival of Wales Pageant in Cardiff.
Following the adoption of flags by the nearby counties of Caernarfonshire, Anglesey and Meirionnydd, several individuals in Flintshire were keen to see their county also register a flag. Accordingly Shaun Evans, John Wiltshire and Stephen Rule promoted the Tegeingl arms as the most appropriate basis for a Flintshire county flag and established a campaign to see this registered, based on a “Flintshire Flag Supporters Group” Facebook page, which quickly established a following of over 200 people.
The group rapidly acquired support for their aim from a comprehensive range of local community groups, historical societies, youth organisations, sports clubs, businesses and elected representatives – listed below. In light of the extensive historical and countywide usage of the Tegeingl arms to represent the county and the great degree of in county support for the proposal, it was duly registered by the Flag Institute as the county flag of Flintshire. The flag began to be seen around the county shortly afterwards.
It was especially embraced by the local Cambria Band
and a spectacular 3d version of the flag in the form of a hat was seen at the Urdd Eisteddfod!
- 3rd Prestatyn Scout Group
- Bagillt Heritage Society / Cymdeithas Treftadaeth Bagillt
- Buckley Society
- Caerwys Historical Society
- Cambria Band
- Carmel Women’s Institute
- Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant
- Delyn Heritage Group
- Five Villages Chronicle Association
- Flintshire Falcons Rugby League
- Flintshire Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations
- Flintshire Historical Society / Cymdeithas Hanes Sir y Fflint
- Flintshire Tourism Association / Cymdeithas Ymwelwyr Sir y Fflint
- Flintshire War Memorials Group
- Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden
- Holywell & District Society
- Love my Wales / Caru fy Nghymru
- Llanasa Brownies, Rainbows and Rangers
- Meliden Historical Society
- Menter Iaith Sir y Fflint
- Mold Food and Drink Festival / Gŵyl Bwyd a Diod yr Wyddgrug
- Mostyn History Preservation Society
- Rotary Club of Flint and Holywell
- Saltney Ferry (Mold Junction) Tenants and Residents Association
- St. Asaph Archaeological Society
Flintshire Representatives who supported the campaign.
- Rt. Hon. David Hanson, MP – Member of Parliament for Delyn (1992-present).
- Mark Tami, MP – Member of Parliament for Alyn and Deeside (2001-present).
- Mark Isherwood, AM – Assembly Member for North Wales (2003-present).
- Rt. Hon. Lord Barry Jones, PC – Member of Parliament for East Flintshire (1970-83) and Alyn and Deeside (1983-2001); under-secretary of state for Wales (1974-79); made life peer in 2001; appointed to the Privy Council in 1999; President of numerous Flintshire clubs, societies and charities.
- Cllr. Chris Dolphin – Flintshire County Councillor (Whitford Ward); Whitford Community Councillor.
- Cllr. Joe Johnson – Flintshire County Councillor (Holywell East Ward); Holywell Town Councillor.
With many thanks to Dr Shaun Evans for his extensive research on the history of the Flintshire emblem.