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Herm, Channel Islands

Bailiwick of Guernsey

Last modified: 2020-08-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: herm | guernsey |
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[Herm] image by Valentin Poposki, 26 July 2020

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Description of the flag

The arms are azure, between two dolphins argent a bend or bearing three cowled monks sable - i.e. a blue field with a silver heraldic dolphin (looking nothing like the aquatic mammal of the same name!) in the bottom left and top right. From top left to bottom right there is a yellow diagonal stripe bearing three cowled monks in black robes. I believe this may also be a personal, not an island flag.
Roy Stilling, 14 March 1996

Flagmaster no. 43 gave news of the adoption of the flag. The ratio is 3:5. It is the usual Cross of Saint George, also used by Guernsey, with a banner of the arms of Herm in the canton. The blue symbolizes the sea that surrounds the island, and the yellow the island itself. The three monks are a reference to the past, since the island was colonized by Benedictine monks from Mont-Saint-Michel in the 11th century and later by Augustinians; for some time Herm was the site of a monastery and monks lived alone on the island. The shield of Herm was adopted in 1953, designed by the Reverend Percival of Guernsey. Around 1951 the island used a blue flag with the heraldic shield of Guernsey near the hoist (three leopards in red field with a green foliage above and the words 'HERM ISLAND' below).
Jaume Ollé, 1 October 1996

According to The Complete Guide to Flags the flag of Herm is depicted with a bend argent (a 'silver' or white diagonal band running from top left to bottom right corners) in the upper hoist canton. It does not seem as though this follows Reverend Percival's 1953 coat-of-arms which apparently employed the heraldic metal or (gold or yellow). This source of information should be considered authoritative because the book's author, William Crampton, himself designed the flag of Herm. On page 25, Herm's flag is clearly shown bearing a bend argent. There always remains the slight possibility that any discrepancy in coloration is due to a printer's error - there is no full textual description of the color scheme provided. It is also possible that, through popular usage, the color has changed.
M. Breier, 17 June 1999

In 1953 the British vexillologist William Crampton designed the current flag: The flag of Herm is white with a red St George's Cross with a banner of the arms of Herm in the canton; the arms are azure, between two dolphins argent a bend or bearing three cowled Benedictine monks sable. The ratio is 3:5.
Valentin Poposki, 26 July 2020

History of Herm Island

Herm Island is part of St. Peter Port Parish of Guernsey, lacking the autonomous status as the islands of Alderney and Sark are enjoying. It has about 2 km2 with about 60 inhabitants.

Modern history: Soon after the war, it was agreed that Herm Island should be handed over to a tenant who would care for the island, allowing its natural beauty to be enjoyed by everyone. From 1946 to 1949 the island was occupied by Mr A G Jeffries. In 1949 Peter and Jenny Wood took over the lease of Herm Island, and it has remained in their family but was managed by Adrian and Pennie Heyworth, the daughter and son-in-law of Peter and Jenny until September 2008. The lease of Herm Island is now owned by John and Julia Singer, Island Managers for the Starboard Settlement.

Valentin Poposki, 26 July 2020

1950 flag

[Herm] image by Valentin Poposki, 26 July 2020

Two flags are known for this island. Between 1950 and 1953 it was dark blue flag with crest of the States of Guernsey toward the hoist and "HERM ISLAND" in white letters bellow it.

Then, in 1952 the island got the arms: Official blazon: Azure, on a bend or between 2 dolphins embowed argent 3 monks cowled and habited sable. Origin/meaning: The arms were designed in 1952. The arms symbolize the golden island set in its azure sea (dolphins) and its long history as a monastic settlement.
Valentin Poposki, 26 July 2020

Coat of Arms

[Herm] image by Valentin Poposki, 26 July 2020