A Conversation for DEVON'S NEW FLAG

Devon Flag Designs

Post 101

London Devonish

Hi Plymouth Exile, ozzie and everyone else,

I have just been e-mailed with yet more info on old devon symbols from David Ford, a historian who runs the Early British Kingdoms website,( worth checking out if you are interested in Dark Age History) and this is what he said:
'Devon is a tough one. Dumnonian symbols seem to have become so concentrated in Cornwall that it is difficult to find something which just represents Devon. There's the three red spots of the Earl of Devon's on a golden field, but the Courtenays originally came from Berkshire. County/Country symbolism in Britain is usually associated with Saxon or Post Roman times. The best bet is probably to go to the saintly route-like Cornwall with the cross of St. Piran. You could look at the arms of Tavistock and Hartland Abbeys. They might refer to St Rumon and St Nectan respectively, although i don't what they are off hand. St. Nectan is associated with 2 cows, and a bull is currently one of the supporters of the Devon arms. Nectan may also be buried on Lundy island which has the symbol of the puffin. St Sidewell of Exeter is associated with the scythe. Dumnonia appears to have used the Red Dragon, traditionally associated with Wales, as one of its symbols. It is still used on the arms of Wiltshire and as supporters of the arms of Dorset, they have been converted into gold dragons of Wessex (although the wessex beast is really a wyvern.)'

phew... Its not easy finding a definite Devon symbol from the past that has not been used by wessex and its constituant countys, but i hope this is of some interest. For me the Celtic cross in Devon colours seems to be the best bet possibly with a dragon of some sort in the centre, perhaps a different design to the Welsh one, maybe standing(rampant) or facing towards us (regardent) [bracketed words are heraldic terminology].

I don't know of any organisation called London Devonish, maybe we should start one, with meetings in a good pub.
whatever design is agreed on we should get the ball rolling and get it made official, or even get some flags made, bumper stickers etc.

London Devonish

Devon Flag Designs

Post 102


Plymouth Exile - thank you for your kind words re the Flag campaign.

As to what we should do next with the Devon Flag? I feel that we should abandon attempts to get other media involved - at least directly.

The fact that the BBC had already 'run' with the subject was clearly a problem with the WMN, and (although never stated) I suspect the same was true for the Indy.

In a way I can understand this - is wasn't "new news", and they would (probably) have had to refer to the "prior art" on BBC Devon. This isn't their way.

I agree with Plymouth Exile's comment (again? - this is a worry!) when he states what we need is publicity rather than a simple adjudication.

The latter may have been a sensible solution three months ago - but I fear the momentum is lost.

In my view - lets discuss the matter with Mr Flag - nothing lost if we don't agree.

If this doesn't produce any fruit - lets talk to SW Tourism.

If all this comes to naught - we could alsways try paying for advertisments in the media, and have that generate interest.

I don't know how nuch this would cost but I would consider a (modest) fee.

As to London Devonish's input, I can only repeat 'welcome to the discussion'. I personally am not too concerned if what we select as a symbol has a link to other areas (eg Cornwall or Wessex) so long as it is not their primary symbol. For example St Petrock spent time on both sides of the Tamar, but as the Cornish have focussed on St Piran - so what?



Devon Flag Designs

Post 103


its good to see that things are moving again eh?
Id prefer to see the celtic cross design go in to production but since Mr Flag said that they dont like complicated designs it may be best to not include the shield.
could you run up another one to see it without the shield on?
does Mr Flag come up on search engines when you look for a flag of a country? if so that might be enough to catch the attention of some bored devonians surfing the net, and then maybe the word would spread from there?
once we give a design to Mr Flag we can contact SW tourism and say that there is a flag available to buy and i'd imagine they'd advertise it themselves, after all what would it cost them to do that?

Devon Flag Designs

Post 104

Plymouth Exile

Welcome back Devonian. Concerning the Celtic Cross design, I don't think that BBC Devon is accepting any more designs, but if you want to know what it would look like without the shield, you can download it and remove the shield using any image editing software. It seems that London Devonish likes the Celtic Cross, but would like to see a red dragon at the centre. However, I think that Mr. Flag would have the same objection to a dragon design as they did to the shield. You may be right about them having fewer objections to the Celtic Cross on its own.

I would still like to see some sort of vote, or at the very least an adjudication, but if the latter is decided on, perhaps it could be done by some important Devon official or well known Devon personality, so that a lot of publicity is attached to the selection.

Plymouth Exile

Devon Flag Designs

Post 105

London Devonish

Perhaps if 'official' recognition is hard to come by or a big publicity style launch is not possible at the moment, and if a design is agreed upon; then we could fund the productiion of a number of flags, but more importantly (for publicity's sake) car stickers with 'Devon' printed underneath to be sold at petrol stations and other shops in Devon. This would be an easy and cheap way of advertising the flag. I for one have seen many more Cornwall flags on cars than actual flags. I think it would be easier to 'advertise' the flag like this. I'm sure the media, and local councils etc would then be quick to take up the flag, making it easier to have real flags and get them flying all over the county.

If anyone has a better idea, or contacts to publisice the flag then this would be preferable, but i feel if we can't get the ball rolling then we should take action ourselves. Could the person who is in contact with Mr. Flag get a quote on stickers if he makes them, I'm sure he would know someone who does if he can not. Whatever happens it would be good to get something done before the summer as this would be an ideal time to launch the flag.

London Devonish

Devon Flag Designs

Post 106

Ozzie Exile

I like London Devonish's idea of bumper stickers.

I certainly could place a few locally.

In terms of a judgement on which is the best design, I would suggest we approach Mr Flag - but suggesting am adjudication by SW Tourism.

Alternatively Mr Flag may have a better idea.

If needed I am happy to host a 'casting ballot' vote on my web-site.
I would 'blob' the short-listed contenders on my site and would only accept email votes. That way it would be possible to reduce the 'duplication' of votes as I could see both the email address and the source address - so duplication would be more difficult.

However - I may not attract a representative number of votes (the web-site gets 3-5 hits a day on average - and not all new hits would vote) but it is an option.

I would consider commiting a minimum number of flags and/or bumper stickers - if that what is needed to make a run viable. I reckon I could sell a few 'Down Under'.


Devon Flag Designs

Post 107

Plymouth Exile

London Devonish, Kerswell, Devonian, Ozzie Exile et al,

Having read all your recent posts and combined them with my own thoughts, I think I can see a consensus coming together. This has given me an idea for a possible way forward.

Firstly, there seems to be unanimity about bumper stickers being popular. As London Devonish says, you see a lot more Cornish (St. Piran's) flags in the form of bumper stickers than you do as actual flags. The production of bumper stickers would be a lot easier and far less expensive than a production run of flags. Also as bumper stickers would be printed, complexity of design would not present any problems. As London Devonish likes the idea of the Celtic Cross with a red Dragon in the middle, I could easily produce such a design, by incorporating Estren's 'Pendragon' design into the Celtic Cross. I also like his idea of printing the word 'DEVON' under the design.

For a selection process, I would favour either a vote on Ozzie Exile's web site (thanks for the kind offer), or adjudication by either a leading Devon personality or by SW Tourism. Once a selection is made, the winning design could be publicised on local Radio, TV and newspapers. After all, selection of a Devon Flag design would constitute news (perhaps BBC Devon could advise us on this).

Concerning production, I would also be willing to chip in with a contribution to get production and distribution underway. I would have thought that the most obvious retail outlets would be filling stations, newsagents and tourist shops.

If the bumper stickers became successful and well known about, then I suspect that Mr Flag would have fewer reservations about producing a flag version (without the word 'DEVON' under the design), even if the design was fairly complex. After that, how about Devon Flag T-Shirts, with the flag on the front and 'DEVON' on the back?

As a matter of interest, does anyone know who manufactures and distributes the Cornish bumper stickers?

Any comments?

Plymouth Exile

Devon Flag Designs

Post 108


we could try to maybe contact the company who makes those "i love devon" bumper stickers with garfield the cat on, not sure who they are.The thing is if we can convince a company that they would sell then we wouldnt need to fund it and we'd instantly increase our points of distribution.
how big are you planning on having the pendragon? as big as the welsh or smaller and in the centre? i think it would look quite good in big?
we should wait and decide on the final thing i reckon before seeing Mr Flag but im fairly sure they'd use it.

Devon Flag Designs

Post 109

London Devonish

This sounds great! I too would be willing to contribute to the production of bumper stickers, and look forward to seeing a few designs. I'm glad we seem to be in a consensus about shortlisting a few designs. as a computer amateur, i would find it difficult to add one of my own, but if someone could give me a few pointers( I have a scanner etc) I would love to put in my pennysworth. Whatever the outcome of design, I feel sure that by the end of the year, Devonians and others, will recognise a flag for Devon.

This also will prove that all it takes are a few like minded individuals to get the ball rolling.
Once we have established a design with the bumper stickers, the cost of flag production would be offset by the (hopefully) popularity of it and the demand for flags. In the meantime I will call some sticker printing companies on Monday and get some quotes

London Devonish

Devon Flag Designs

Post 110

London Devonish

Love the T shirt idea, that shouldn't be too expensive at all. As i can't use a computer very well (see above) could Plymouth exile do a couple of designs with the the Celtic Cross and a dragon wholly within the centre, i.e. not too big, just to see what it would look like ( as my imagination isn't great)

Thanks L.D.

Devon Flag Designs

Post 111

Plymouth Exile

London Devonish,

I am half way through producing a Celtic Cross, with a Red Dragon in the centre. As BBC Devon have ceased displaying new flags, I will see if I can persuade Ozzie Exile to display the four shortlisted designs plus the Celtic Cross/Dragon design on his web site, so that we can all see them.

T-Shirts are easy to do, and can be produced in large volumes. I have, in the past, produced a design with a colour photograph on it.

Plymouth Exile

Devon Flag Designs

Post 112

Ozzie Exile

Plymouth Exile etc,..

If you send me designs I am happy to put them up on my web-site (subject to me hitting the dreaded 'limit')

Do you just want the Celtic Flag with Dragon/Wyvern - or a range?

I am happy to chip in with a few paltry Aussie pesos if necessary for bumper stickers etc....


Devon Flag Designs

Post 113

Ozzie Exile

I have received London Devonish's design from Plymouth Exile.

The web-site has now been updated and you can see the design (and the other shortlisted designs) at


and...follow the links

Let me know what you think

Devon Flag Designs

Post 114

Ozzie Exile

I have put the 'shortlist' of flags (plus London Devonish's recent idea) onto my website - and foolishly asked for opinions.

To make this meaningful we either need to encourage 'votes' (which can be registered by 'hitting the button' on the website) &/or we find some other way of deciding on a preferred solution.

Should we promote this (although I suspect we may get nowhere near the 395 votes BBC Devon achieved) and/or look elsewhere.

I think we can do both! I suggest we talk to Mr Flag AND promote some popular voting (perhaps Mr Flag may promote the link)

So far I have had a handful of votes - promising but not enough to be meaningful - yet.



and have your say

Devon Flag Designs

Post 115

Plymouth Exile

Ozzie Exile et al,

I don't think it is at all foolish to ask for opinions. Remember it is early days yet; the BBC poll went on for two or three months. I noticed that the counter on your site has speeded up since you put the Flag for Devon section in. Let's give it a bit of time and see what the response is.

I have been thinking again about contacting Mr Flag, and I am not sure that it is a good idea at this stage. Mr Flag only makes cloth flags, which are quite expensive and the more complex the design, the more expensive they get. However, there are some flag manufacturers who produce polyester and plastic printed flags at much lower prices. I found one the other day while doing a Google search. It was in the 'Sponsored Links' section, but I foolishly didn't note the URL and I can't find it now. I have however found a link to 'Shoppers World - Flags and Poles' which sells 5' x 3' for £4.99 (plus smaller flags). I feel that this is going to be the sort of price range, which will persuade Devonians to go out and buy flags. When we can demonstrate what a good seller the flag is, then Mr Flag may be persuaded to make high quality ones.

I still think that car bumper stickers may be a good first step. The Cornish ones (which sell for £1) are the 'flags' which most people notice. Has London Devonish found a source for the bumper stickers yet?

Plymouth Exile

Devon Flag Designs

Post 116

Ozzie Exile

Whilst the number of votes received on the 'Devon Flag' on the above mentioned web-site has crept up, it needs more to become meaningful.

To make it meaningful I suggest that contributors to this site register their thoughts (via the aforementioned web-site) - and encourage others as well whilst they are at it.

Or, what would you suggest to encourage a broader participation?

As to Mr Flag - I still suggest we ask their advice. Whilst 'cloth' flags may be the more expensive I certainly would prefer that to the rather cheap plastic and polyester flags I have seen elsewhere.

Also - I don't mean for a moment that we limit ourselves to Mr Flag - but they may have some useful hints to give.

Devon Flag Designs

Post 117


We haven't had any recent contact on this subject, but I do drop in to check how you're getting on from time to time, and I have a few comments (if I may)...

1. We make all flags, not just the high quality ones (though those ARE our speciality). Paper, polythene, polyester, nylon, silk, printed, embroidered, appliqued... whatever. We just don't always advertise every element to every sector.

2. The low cost 5' x 3' polyester flags are the price they are because - being established national-flag designs - they are printed in vast quantities, usually in China, and shipped to flag traders around the World. To get a new Devon flag onto the same footing someone would have to fund an initial print-run of many thousands of units.

3. However complicated the design you eventually settle on, we can make it - either by printing or by sewing. Printing of relatively short runs IS cheaper per unit, but someone would still have to fund the initial batch. We might be persuaded to do this for one size of flag if we felt we had a chance of getting our money back and if the design allowed the flag to be sold at a price low enough to be popular. Just as we did with the Isles of Scilly flag last year.

4. The advantage of choosing a simple design like a cross (St.Piran, St.George, St.David etc.) is that no-one would have to invest in a print-run, and we could make the flag in any quantity (1+) and all sizes that may be required. In our view THIS is the key to introducing a popular flag. Unless the flag can be made available to anyone who wants it, in whatever size they prefer and at an attractive price, widespread use of it just won't happen (unless someone could be found to fund the Chinese-import option).

5. In principle we could run or promote a poll at MrFlag.com - without duplication. We get an average of 2,500 visitors (around 50,000 hits) a day. Though we'd rather the design be established prior to us getting involved.

6. Whatever design you come up with - wether we like it or not - we'll offer it for sale if people want to buy it. That's what we do.

7. When you have a consensus on the design you might want to get it 'accredited' free of charge by The Flag Institute. We can certainly arrange this if you wanted (the President of The Flag Institute is a relative), and this would eventually lead to the design filtering out to all member flagmakers around the World.

8. Publicity isn't as complicated to achieve as might be supposed. The trick is the timing. The important thing is to (a) release the story during the 'silly season' (Parliament's Summer break), (b) release the story to ALL newspapers on the same day (so no-one thinks they have a second-hand story and most run it on the same day), and (c) be sure to have something interesting available for the press to photograph (like a factory frantically churning out the new flag for example). The story doesn't have to be pure-as-the-driven-snow-true, just sensational enough for column inches. In most cases if you give a newspaper enough to play with they'll usually oblige by making stuff up anyway. They know you need the publicity and won't let on.

Time for me to re-lurk I think!


Devon Flag Designs

Post 118

Plymouth Exile

Mr Flag,

Please feel free to drop in at any time. There is certainly no need to lurk.

I found your latest post to be most enlightening. I am sure that few of us realised the range of flags, which you can supply. I had assumed that you only made high quality sewn cloth flags. The idea, which some among us had, for starting off with car bumper stickers, with a chosen flag design and the word 'DEVON' underneath, was intended as a low cost introduction to Devonians of the concept of a recognisable symbol for Devon. I have heard many Devonians remark about the large number of cars coming out of Cornwall with St. Piran (Cornish flag) stickers on their bumpers, and wishing that there was something similar for Devon. I really do feel that if such bumper stickers were to become recognisable and commonplace symbols of Devon, then the introduction of the equivalent flag (without the word 'DEVON' on it), would be much easier to achieve than by starting from scratch with a new flag, which nobody recognises. If a more complex design were to be chosen, it would markedly reduce the launch risks involved, by being a known and popular existing design. Do you have any comments on this strategy?

I have taken a look at the Isles of Scilly Flag, which you mentioned. The inclusion of stars must (I assume) make it a medium complexity design. If such a flag can be successful, bearing in mind the very small population of the islands, then I am even more convinced about the viability of a medium/high complexity design for Devon, with its population of one million.

I was also unaware of the existence of The Flag Institute, so I looked at their web site and found it to be very interesting indeed. From the links on their site, I noted that a number of British regional or county flags are quite complex in design. In fact, by following one of the links, I discovered that there was a North Devon Flag design (link below).


I must say that I think that any of our designs would represent Devon better than this one. Who on earth thought of the idea of using a Scandinavian Cross as the basis for the flag? Devon has no historical association with Scandinavia (e.g. Viking settlements).

I certainly like your ideas for publicising any chosen design, but there are obviously a few stages to get through before we contemplate this.

I am sure that we would all appreciate your comments on the points I have raised, and any that others come up with.

Plymouth Exile

Devon Flag Designs

Post 119

London Devonish

hi all
I've got some quotes on bumper stickers. These would be 6x4 inches on self adhesive pvc 3 colours on white(red, black and green) Artwork supplied on PC format disk (i guessed one of you guys could do that)

250 stickers £170
500 stickers £232
1000 stickers £388

Not including delivery or allowance for exact colour matches

so he is ready to print when he gets design and money....
we can change dimension of sticker and colours without there being too much difference on price, and this incudes 'DEVON' printed on too

All we need to do is decide on a design, whats the update on the website? and do we have a cut off time to decide.

I like the idea for publicity in the 'silly season'.
Thanks for putting up my idea for a flag, I really appreciate it

so things are moving on...

London Devonish

Devon Flag Designs

Post 120

Plymouth Exile

London Devonish,

Thanks for getting the prices. This shows that a launch with 1000 stickers would not be horrendously expensive, and hopefully we would at least get our money back if they are all sold. But that doesn't mean that all problems are now solved, as we would have to find suitable retail outlets.

Concerning a voting deadline, it has been decided to let the voting continue until the end of February and then review the situation.

I was glad to have been of some help in getting your design to Ozzie Exile to put up on his web site. I do like the appearance of the design, but I suspect that the vast majority of Devonians will be unaware of the association between the red dragon and Devon (via the Kingdom of Dumnonia). In fact you would probably find that 90% of Devonians would never have heard of Dumnonia, if that part of Devon's past is not included in the school history syllabus. Most people would probably think that the design was too Welsh therefore.

Does anyone else have any bright ideas regarding marketing and retailing car stickers?

Plymouth Exile

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