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Gloucestershire (England)

Traditional English County

Last modified: 2020-12-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: united kingdom | gloucestershire |
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[Gloucestershire] image by André Coutanche, 4 July 2008
The Severn Cross Flag

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See also:

Introduction: Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire, or "Glos" as it is locally known, is a county in southwest England. It is bordered by seven counties: Herefordshire in the northwest, Wiltshire in the south, Bristol and Somerset in the southwest, Worcestershire in the north, Oxfordshire in the east, Warwickshire in the northeast, and the Welsh county of Monmouthshire in the west.
Gloucestershire, as a historic county mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the 10th century, does not have the same geographical boundaries as the historic county and is much smaller. Over the years chunks of it were carved off, to Warwickshire in 1931, and to the new county of Avon (which ceased to exist 1996) by the Local Government Act in 1972. After 1996, both the city of Bristol, whose population growth had begun to accelerate during the industrial revolution transforming it into an important commercial port city, and the area of South Gloucestershire became separate unitary authorities. South Gloucestershire is now only a part of the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire.
Today the county town (or county seat) is the city of Gloucester. Other important towns include those of Cheltenham, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, Dursley, Cinderford, and Lydney. (source)
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

Description of the Flag

The blue represents the River Severn flowing through the heart of the county, the green is for the countryside and the cream for Cotswold stone. The Gloucestershire flag, designed by Jeremy Bentall, was the winning entry in a competition held by the county's former High Sheriff Jonathan Carr, to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the county's existence. When he discovered he had won Jeremy, a mental health worker, from Hucclecote, said: "I was initially very surprised but equally delighted and quite proud. The remit from the High Sheriff was to keep things as simple and traditional as possible and that's what I tried to do. It was great to see the flag hoisted. The rain stayed off and there was even a bit of wind." The final decision was made by Mr. Carr with the help of his wife Daphne. The couple attended the flag's official launch at a ceremony at Shire Hall, on Tuesday. Mrs. Carr said: "It was a clear, simple design. When we opened the envelope containing the design we both looked at it and said this is the winner. When we took it to a top flag designer in London they picked it out straight away as well. We had a thousand entries and many were from children. They were more like drawings of old spot pigs and cheese rolling, which were beautiful in their own right but not as strong."
The current High Sheriff, Brian Thornton, said: "The Gloucestershire flag is a most appropriate design, combining the green of the Golden Valley, the blue of the River Severn and the gold of Cotswold stone. I shall be flying it whenever I can at home and I hope other Gloucestershire residents with a flag pole will be doing the same."
Sue Raison, of Gloucestershire County Council, was in charge of getting the flag produced. She said: "It was made by a company in London. We sponsored the first batch of flags to be produced and we are hosting an exhibition in Shire Hall of the winner and the 80 best entries. We've had 30 made and they have gone out to partner organisations such as the district councils, and the University of Gloucestershire."
Chrystian Kretowicz, 3 July 2008

The comments on the page include very relevant reference to Greens of Gloucester, and their comment that "... to use a bespoke made apple green cloth for the field is going to cause all sorts of problems when they need replacing".
André Coutanche, 4 July 2008

Gloucestershire's flag was registered in March 2008 and was the winning entry in a competition held by the High Sheriff of the county, Jonathon Carr, to commemorate a millennium of the county's existence. It was designed by Jeremy Bentall from Hucclecote in the county, who described the flag thus: "The green is representative of our rural county, the blue, the River Severn and the yellow, Cotswold Stone."

  • Flag Type: County Flag
  • Flag Date: March 2008
  • Flag Designer: Jeremy Bentall
  • Adoption Route: High Sheriff
  • UK Design Code: UNKG7413
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:5
  • Pantone© Colours: Green 360, Cream 7402, Blue 300
Source: The Flag Institute Registry.
Valentin Poposki, 28 June 2020

Gloucestershire County Council Coat of Arms

[Gloucestershire Coat of Arms] image from Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020 (Heraldry of the World)

According to Heraldry of the World: "The three chevronels are taken from the ancient Coat of Clare, Earls of Gloucester. The golden fleeces are indicative of the wool industry. The horseshoes symbolise the ancient arms of the city of Gloucester...The demi lion and mural crown are taken from a crest said to have been granted in the Commonwealth period to the City of Gloucester...The motto Prorsum Semper means Ever Forward and is taken from the arms of the Allen family." The modern arms were officially granted on December 10, 1935.

Official Blazon
  • Arms: Per chevron Gules and Or in chief two Fleeces and in base three Chevronels counterchanged on a Chief of the second a Billet Azure between two Billets Vert each charged with a Horseshoe Gold.
  • Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours a demi Lion regardant Gules gorged with a Mural Crown and resting the sinister paw upon a Horseshoe Or.
  • Motto: 'PRORSUM SEMPER' - Ever forward
Source: Heraldry of the World.
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

Old Gloucestershire County Council Flag
Commercial Flag

[Old Gloucestershire County Council Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

This armorial banner of the Gloucestershire County Council was commercially available and being sold as "The flag of Gloucestershire". However, it only represented the county council rather than the county as a whole. (source)
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

Gloucestershire Flag
Commercial Variant

[Commercial Gloucestershire Flag] image by Pete Loeser, 1 December 2020
Based on this photo.

This commercial variant defaces the Gloucestershire Flag with the county council coat of arms
Pete Loeser, 1 December 2020

Gloucestershire County Council Logos

Gloucestershire County Council Logo #1]     Gloucestershire County Council Logos #2 and #3]
images by Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

The Gloucestershire County Council uses a variety of similar logos on their documentation, letterheads and website. The common factor is they place their county council Coat of arms with text, usually in shades of blue if color is used.
Pete Loeser, 1 December 2020

Gloucestershire Constabulary

Gloucestershire County Council Logo #1] with old badge pre-2008    Gloucestershire County Council Logo #1] with new badge after 2008
images by Pete Loeser, 1 December 2020

The territorial police force responsible for policing Gloucestershire is the Gloucestershire Constabulary. It was founded in 1839 and is the second oldest rural police force in Britain. The Wiltshire Constabulary was formed six hours earlier thus making it the oldest such force. The constabulary in its present form only dates back to 1974, when the southern part of Gloucestershire was made part of the County of Avon and placed under the jurisdiction of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
Pete Loeser, 1 December 2020

William Crampton's Gloucestershire Proposal
Commercial Flag

[] image from Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

One further curiosity is a commercially available design, described as the Gloucestershire flag, which is neither the winner of the flag competition nor a banner of the council's arms. The porcine theme of the design features a rather fierce looking Gloucester "Old Spot" boar. It is interesting to note that the late William Crampton, whose design proposal this is, was the founder of the Flag Institute, which now manages the UK Flag registry. (source)
Pete Loeser, 21 September 2020

Borough Council of Tewkesbury

[] image by Olivier Touzeau, 17 November 2020
image based on this image

Tewkesbury is a local government district and borough in Gloucestershire. It was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, from the municipal borough of Tewkesbury, along with Cheltenham Rural District and part of Gloucester Rural District.
The current flag of the borough council is blue with the logo in white. ( source)
Olivier Touzeau, 17 November 2020