Leicestershire Gains Flag

Leicestershire is no longer the only English county without an official flag after the Fox and Cinquefoil was officially registered by the Flag Institute and flew for the first time ever in Parliament Square as part of Historic County Flags Day celebrations.

The raising of the flag took place following Alicia Kearns MP taking up a campaign by residents of Leicestershire and the Flag for Leicestershire campaign group.

Alicia Kearns MP for Rutland and Melton who led the campaign said:

“Since my election I’ve been working to establish an official Leicestershire flag because our county deserves no less than any other. A Leicestershire Flag gives us an opportunity to learn more about our history and celebrate all that is wonderful about our great county. Our flags carry our history, our pride, help define who we are, and bring us together as communities.

“I want in particular to thank the designer of the flag, Jason Saber, and the campaign group ‘A flag for Leicestershire’ which has advocated for this design for so many years to ensure that Leicestershire is no longer the only county without its own flag.”

Graham Bartram, Chief Vexillologist at the Flag Institute, said:

“The Flag Institute is delighted to register the final English county flag, that of Leicestershire. The dynamic red and white flag features the emblems of the de Beaumont and de Montfort families, who both held the Earldom of Leicester. Simon de Montfort was one of the founders of modern parliamentary democracy, so it is appropriate that the flag will have its first official raising in Parliament Square to mark Historic County Flag Day, where it will be joined by the flags of the other English, Welsh and Scottish counties in a spectacular display of the emblems of Britain’s centuries-old foundations. We encourage the people of Leicestershire, and indeed all the counties of Britain, to embrace and use their county flags with pride.”

Graham Shipley and Bill Brown, local campaigners on behalf of the ‘A Flag for Leicestershire Group’, said:

“The ‘A Flag for Leicestershire’ group warmly applauds the raising of the fox-and-cinquefoil flag on Monday 19 July 2021. With this act, the set of registered flags for the historic counties of England is complete. It is a milestone in the life of England and of our county. We are confident that the flag will be a focus for unity around which all the people of Leicestershire, as well as anyone who has an association with the county, can rally in perpetuity.

“We thank the MPs of Leicestershire for their support, as well as the Association of British Counties and the Flag Institute for their long-standing work in promoting county flags.

“We congratulate the designer, Mr Jason Saber, for creating a flag that so clearly evokes the thousand-year history of Leicestershire. It reflects both the colours and the emblems of the existing flags of the City Council, the County Council, and many other local bodies as well as the free-running fox, a symbol of many sports clubs in the great sporting tradition of Leicestershire.

“Above all, we are grateful to the many hundreds of supporters, both across the county and beyond, who have previously shown their enthusiasm for this design and their commitment to it which has enabled this historic event to take place.”

Jason Saber, Designer of the Leicestershire Flag, said:

“My aim was to design a flag that would harmoniously combine all four traditional county themes, namely; a red and white colour scheme; a zigzag pattern, a device with five petals termed a cinquefoil and above all, a running fox.”

The Leicestershire Fox and Cinquefoil flag was flown today following the Flag Institute formally registering it as the County’s flag following a campaign in Parliament led by Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns with local campaigners and the backing of all Leicestershire MPs: Jane Hunt MP, Alberto Costa MP, Luke Evans MP, Andrew Brigden MP and Neil O’Brien MP.

The Fox and Cinquefoil flag was designed by Jason Saber, the design features a fox, which has a strong association with the county alongside a red and white serrated field which was a pattern borne by the de Montfort earls of Leicester on his coat of arms. A cinquefoil is a floral emblem meaning “five leaves”. The De Montfort’s were joined through marriage to the De Beaumont’s, who bore arms depicting an ermine cinquefoil against a red field.

Joshua Malone, Campaign Director of the Campaign for Historic Counties, said:

“It is fantastic that every English county now has its own flag, officially registered by the Flag Institute.

“Leicestershire was the last English county to gain this important badge of identity and we are delighted to have supported the campaign which helped bring it about.

“Historic County flags are a major step forward in our campaign to rescue Britain’s traditional and ancient counties before it’s too late.”

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