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Isle of Wight (England)

English Ceremonial County

Last modified: 2020-10-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: isle of wight | cowes | saint david |
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[Flag of Isle of Wight] located by Jason Saber, 12 January 2009


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Introduction: Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island of England. It is located in the English Channel and is about three miles off the coast of Hampshire. Its mild climate, coastal scenery, and beautiful landscapes have made it an attraction for visitors and vacationers. It has a wildlife preserve, quarries for dinosaur fossils hunters, and traditions of boat-building, sail-making, and other maritime industries. The island has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and it has attracted the rich and famous for decades. Both Lord Tennyson and Queen Victoria had summer homes on the island, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated an early version of the telephone to the queen there, Charles Dickens wrote much of David Copperfield there, Marconi setup the world's first radio station there, and Queen Victoria died at Osborne House there in 1901. Today it is a ceremonial non-metropolitan county with its own Isle of Wight Council (since 1995) administering itself as a single unitary authority. The main towns on the island include Newport, Ryde, Cowes, East Cowes, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor.
Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020


About the Design the Isle of Wight Flag

The Isle of Wight Flag Committee, in association with the County Press newspaper, organized a public competition to design a flag for the island. They received over 350 entries. These were whittled down to a shortlist of four designs which the public then had an opportunity to vote on. This was the winning design.
Jason Saber, 12 January 2009

In January 2009, the first general flag for the county was accepted by the Flag Institute. The Isle of Wight Press site showed a photo of the designer John Graney holding his winning design. He reportedly received a ₤50 prize, plus "a copy of the flag". The design, he is quoted as saying, reflects the maritime nature of the county, which is an island. It shows a white diamond on a light blue background, with darker blue and white wavy lines below ... three white and two medium blue waves, and a blue flat-edged lower part.
Bill Dunning, 14 January 2009

While for U.K. members it will be obvious, it's probably worth noting that the shape of the diamond is a (slightly) idealised map of the Isle of Wight itself, with the 'notch' in the top representing the River Medina which separates Cowes from East Cowes.
André Coutanche, 14 January 2009


Isle of Wight Council Flag

[Flag of Isle of Wight] image by Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020

I work next to the council offices in Newport and I see this most days. I call it a flag rather than a banner because it has only elements of the arms of the Isle of Wight.
John Graney, 30 November, 2003

Under the reorganisation of English regional government in 1974, the Isle of Wight was separated from Hampshire. Since 1996 it has been a unitary authority, combining the powers of a county and district council. The Isle of Wight Council is using the central shield of the arms - the castle and three anchors - as a flag for the Council. Whether this counts as an official flag is open to debate.
Pascal Vagnat, 17 April 2003

At the International Island Games in July 2003, the Isle of Wight competed as one of the teams at the games, and used the English flag as their national flag (unlike places like Guernsey, the Orkneys, Gotland and Froya) - so presumably there is no official Island flag.
James Dignan, 2 July 2003

Manufacturer's Variant

[Flag of Isle of Wight] image by Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020

This manufacturer's variant of the Isle of Wight Council Flag with a light blue field is also being sold as a flag for the island.
Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020


Isle of Wight Coat of Arms

[Flag of Isle of Wight] Image modified by Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020

"The arms were officially granted on October 17, 1938. At the centre of the shield is Carrisbrooke Castle. The blue field and gold anchors around this show that the County is an island. The crest is a gold mural crown, which will be seen over the arms of several County Councils. In the case of the Isle of Wight, three blue anchors have been added. The horse supporter stands for farming, the seahorse for seafaring. They are coloured white recalling the links with the ancient Kingdom of Kent. Since 1995 Isle of Wight is a unitary council."

Official Blazon

  • Arms: Azure, a castle triple towered argent between three anchors Or.
  • Crest: On a wreath of the colours, A mural crown Or charged with three anchors azure.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side a horse and on the sinister side a sea horse, both argent.
  • Motto: 'All this beauty is of God'.
Source: Heraldry of the World: Isle of Wight. Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020

Isle of Wight Council Logos

[Isle of Wight Council Logo #1]     [Isle of Wight Council Logo #2] images located by Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020

These are a couple of the logos used by the Isle of Wight Council on their website, letterheads, and mailings. These mirror the stylist depiction of the island shown on their general County flag.
Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020


Erroneous Reports of the St. David's flag on Isle of Wight

[Saint David of Wales flag] Image modified by Pete Loeser, 4 October 2020

In article about the flags of the Isles of Scilly, the Scilly News reported the flag of Isle of Wight is a yellow cross on black, essentially the flag of Dewi Sant (Saint David of Wales)
W. Madsen, 24 June 2002

[Editor's Note: To find out more about this flag visit our St. David's Flag page. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Isle of Wight.]