A Flag For Herefordshire.


The creation of Jason Saber, the design reworks the more distinctive elements found in the coat of arms awarded to Herefordshire County Council in 1946

hcc arms.png

As with those arms, the basic colour of the flag is red to reflect the famed red earth of the county; however, the shade used here is considerably darker than that found in the general depictions of the council arms, to emphasise the distinctive dark rich soil that is so typical of the terrain, as is evident in these photos of Herefordshire fields

Herefields3  Herefields2ajpg  Herefields1

As with the council arms, a bull’s head, from the famed Herefordshire breed, is featured. The breed, which originated in the county before spreading Worldwide, is also typically a dark reddish brown, with a wide white face.


The Herefordshire bull is a typical county theme being used for example as the badge of Hereford United Football Club

Hereford United

and that of the city’s Air Training Corp
It appears in the insignia of the Hereford Police Choir (left below) and combined Hereford and Worcester fire service (right below)

Hereford Badges

One of the county’s famed cattle can also be found on the insignia of the local farmers’ market association

and it is further used by the county’s Short Mat Bowling Association’

and in silhouette form, is incorporated in the logo of the county cricket association

A Hereford bull is also found on the badge of the county’s branch of the Women’s Institute

As on the council arms, three wavy stripes, blue and white, represent the River Wye which flows through the county, this arrangement being a typical depiction of a water course on flags and emblems. The juxtaposition of the wavy stripes and bull’s head is different from that found on the arms; here the bull’s head is a large eye catching charge, placed in a prominent spot at the upper centre of the flag. The stripes are located nearer to the bottom of the flag allowing more space for the larger bull’s head to occupy comfortably. This arrangement is also considered generally more balanced and aesthetically pleasing. 18336632_1112385092240306_593427155_n.gif

The three elements of dark red field; Herefordshire bull; and River Wye are felt to be a concise graphic expression of the county.





Designed by Philip Tibbetts, the red field represents the red earth of the county as found in the arms of the county councilH CC Arms

An alternative version presents the hoist triangle in blue.


The Y shaped white “pall” is a pun on the name of the River Wye which flows through the heart of the country and is a charge also found on the arms of South Herefordshire District CouncilS H D C ArmsAt the hoist is a Herefordshire bull’s head, placed between the arms of the pall to symbolise the fording of the confluence of the rivers Wye and Lugg, an allusion to the River Wye crossing recalled in the county’s name with the element “ford”. Water is traditionally symbolised with wavy stripes; the use of the “Y shaped” pall for this purpose therefore lends the design greater distinction.



Two further proposals from Brady Ells again feature the theme of the Hereford bull, the wavy stripe referring to the “ford” for which the county town, Hereford, is named. The colours are those which have appeared in the arms of both Hereford and Herefordshire councils.


His third design retains many of the elements previously seen. The basic colour of the flags is red to reflect the famed red earth of the county. It also features the head of Hereford bull which originated in the county as described above. Again the white pall reflects the name of the River Wye. One of the many varieties of apple which are found in the county is the golden “Herefordshire Russet” which is depicted on the flag against the red field – Herefordshire is famous for its cider and apple orchards and they are often used on the logos and insignia of organisations in the county.

It should be noted that a design

HCC banner.png

sometimes described as the Herefordshire flag and often inaccurately portrayed with a gold lion

HCC banner

is in fact the armorial banner of Herefordshire Council, derived from its coat of arms

hcc arms.png

and therefore belongs to and represents soley that body. It is not the county flag and is not available to residents to fly, albeit that it is commonly mis-sold as the ‘Herefordshire Flag’. Whilst there are several features on the design that are representative of the county, the lion whose form is taken from the Royal Banner of England, is found on the arms of Norfolk and Dorset county councils and is not remotely unique nor is it specifically representative of the county, being found on arms across the country, the continent and the World. Additionally and importantly the lion depicted on the flag, a “lion passant-guardant”, is a royal symbol taken from the royal arms and is thus only available for use under a royal warrant. The permission granted for its use on the arms of the Herefordshire County Council does not extend to any other usage such as deployment as a flag for residents to fly.  

Another design

herefordshire joke

often labelled as “Herefordshire county flag” is a spurious creation that originated as a joke, as reported here http://www.herefordtimes.com/…/4889787.Internet_joke_creat…/ It also includes the coat of arms of Herefordshire County Council so is subject to the same provisions as the council’s actual armorial banner; it is neither registered, nor well designed and is certainly not the county flag of Herefordshire.

Useful Links







This entry was posted in Herefordshire. Bookmark the permalink.