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English County, Regional and Municipal Flags

Last modified: 2023-05-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: england |
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English County Flags

Most English counties were originally established in the Middle Ages. Some were used for the administration of justice, others for the organization of the military, and some later for parliamentary representation. Originally these feudal lands of England were under the rule of certain families or a certain noble. Over time, however, as the Royal power grew, and the local lord's powers lessened, some of the larger lands were divided into smaller areas, counties or districts, while others were combined into larger counties. There were considerable boundary changes among them over the years. As these areas were exchanged and as cities grew, suburban areas in one county might be annexed by a growing "borough" (town) of another.

One of the confusing things about the English county flags are the terms used to describe them.

  • Traditional Counties of England - These are areas that were established for administration by the Normans, in many cases based on earlier kingdoms and shires created by the Anglo-Saxons and others. They are also called "Ancient Counties" or "Historic Counties."
  • Ceremonial Counties of England - The counties and areas established as "Lieutenancies," areas of England, Wales and Scotland to which lords-lieutenants are appointed, under the Lieutenancies Act of 1997. They are also known as "Geographic Counties" to distinguish them from other types of counties of England.
There were 39 traditional counties in England until the reforms of 1889-1890. These reforms abolished the existing traditional county councils or governing bodies replacing them with different ceremonial county administrative bodies. However, the areas do still remain as remembered entities divided between "traditional" and "ceremonial" counties.
Pete Loeser, 24 October 2020

The star symbol indicates the flag is listed in The Flag Institute's UK "County & Regional" Flag Registry and can be flown without special planning permission.

Municipal Flags

This list of English municipalities is nowhere meant to be a complete list of all of the cities, towns and communities in England, but rather a list of the current pages existing on the our database with information related to Vexillology - the scholarly study of flags. The practice of having community flags, those of cities, towns, villages and neighborhoods, and other regions such as islands or provinces, is relatively new in the United Kingdom. However, since 2010 many of these flags have been recognized by the UK Flag Registry, and are also included in the FOTW database.
Pete Loeser, 27 October 2020

The open star symbol indicates the flag is listed in The Flag Institute's UK "City & Town" Flag Registry and can be flown without special planning permission.