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Oxford University - Christ Church College (England)

Last modified: 2020-11-21 by rob raeside
Keywords: oxford university | christ church college |
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[Flag of Christ Church College] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 February 2019
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Description of the flag

On a recent trip to Oxford, I noticed that most of the colleges of the universities had armorial banners flying. The Christ Church College flag is a banner of arms showing two crows with a red rose between them in the chief, and black field with a white cross, bearing a red lion passant in the centre and a blue lion face in each arm.
Dave Fowler, 4 July 2016

The flag is a banner of arms (ratio 1:1).
is a banner of arms (ratio 1:1).
Coat of Arms:
Shield Sable, on a cross engrailed Argent a lion passant Gules, between four leopards' heads caboshed Azure, chief or, charged with a rose Gules barbed Vert and seeded Or between two Cornish choughs Sable armed Gules.
“The House” was the project of Cardinal Wolsey and called Cardinal’s College but it was completed in 1546 by King Henry VIII and given its present name. The College arms are those granted to Wolsey. Cross and leopards’ faces are from the arms of Ufford and de la Pole, some time Earls of Suffolk, which was Wolsey’s county. The lion refers to Pope Leo X, who created him a Cardinal. The rose representing England and the choughs (Latin: Pyrrhocorax graculus) are taken from the hypothetical arms of Wolsey’s patron St. Thomas of Canterbury.
Source: John P. Brooke-Little: Oxford University and its Colleges, Oxford 1962(?), available online at and,_Oxford.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 February 2019

Banner of arms of Cardinal Wolsey

[Banner of arms of Cardinal Wolsey] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 June 2019

Christ Church as a foundation is unique in the world, as both a Cathedral of the Church of England and a college of the university. Typically, on days of significance to the university such as a Degree Day, it flies the banner of arms of Cardinal Wolsey, as depicted above.

The flag is quartered of red and white, both(?) white quarters are charged with a triplet of red fleurs-de-lis ordered 2:1. No match with any college flag and no match with any flag of a twinned city.

However, on what might be termed ‘Royal’ or national days, it flies the flag described above, which is a banner of arms of the college’s refounder Henry VIII. On these days, most of the other Oxford colleges will fly the Union Flag, as does Oxford City Council, who own and run Oxford Town Hall, but on a secondary flagpole above the town hall. The City will fly above the Town Hall entrance either a stylised banner of their arms (or on Mayor Making Day an actual banner of arms). But they have three flagpoles all visible concurrently and do also fly EU flag, rainbow flag, UN flag and so on.

Source: Personal observation and photographs, 1972 to date
Colin Dobson, 13 June 2019


[Blade] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 March 2019
Blade is blue.

Source: (for current versions):
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 March 2019