Last modified: 2005-10-22 by rob raeside
Keywords: east anglia | norwich | university of east anglia | sweden | crowns: 3 (yellow) |
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I understand that it was invented in
the 19th Century by some East Angles living in London and incorporates the flag
of St. George with the arms of the Wuffingas Dynasty on a shield in the centre.
The Wuffingas were the "son of Wuffa" the founder of the ruling family of the
East Angles. Their last king was Saint Edmund King and Martyr who was
killed in a particularly nasty way by the Vikings in the 10th Century and was
canonised for his troubles.
James Frankcom, 19 September 2005
Except for the special case of Cornwall, which is more an assimilated Celtic nation rather than an English region, the only English regional flag that has had much popular acceptance is that of East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk - sometimes extended to include some or all of Cambridgeshire and Essex), designed in (I think) 1903 or 1905 for the London Society of East Anglians. It is the Cross of St George of England with over the centre of the cross the shield of the traditional arms of East Anglia, blue with three gold crowns. The arms are effectively identical to the small arms of Sweden, from where the East Anglian royal dynasty, the Wuffingas, were supposed to have originated.
David Prothero, 2 June 1999
There is a medieval map of the English "heptarchy", a period where there were seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms at war with each other. This map, made I believe in the 12th Century after the heptarchy period is illustrated with banners of the kingdoms. Those shown for Essex, Kent and Sussex appear to be very similar to their "county standards" today, while East Anglia has three crowns on a white background, Mercia appears to have a white dragon of some kind.
James Frankcom, 30 July 2001
In article about the flags of the Isles of Scilly,
reported the flag of East Anglia three yellow crowns arranged 2 and 1 on a blue
field, essentially the same as the Three Crowns of
W. Madsen, 24 June 2002
The town of Bury St. Edmunds (Suffolk) also uses the three crowns on its coat
James Dignan, 22 September 2005
by Ivan Sache
I was in Norwich last week for a conference, and I had there the opportunity to
see the municipal flag of Norwich and the flag of the University
of East Anglia. Information on the historical city of Norwich can be found
on the Historical Norwich website.
The most interesting facts are:
"Norwich, the capital of Norfolk, was once second only to London in importance, growing out of several small Saxon settlements at the lowest fording point along the river Wensum. Before the Norman Conquest of 1066, Norwich was one of the largest towns in England. The conquerors built a castle and a cathedral, and established a new market place which is still in use today. In 1194 Norwich was granted the status of a city, while in 1404 it was given the privilege of appointing a mayor, two sheriffs and aldermen to run its affairs. Norwich grew in size and wealth during the Middle Ages. It was the principal market for one of the most densely populated parts of England and by the late fourteenth century was the chief centre of worsted manufacture. It remained one of the most important textile manufacturing centres until the nineteenth century. Over the centuries Norwich has been the scene of many riots and has suffered attacks by rebels. Perhaps the most famous incident was the 1549 Kett's Rebellion. Robert Kett and his brother led a mob protesting against the enclosure of land in Wymondham; they threw down the fences in the locality and then, with growing confidence, marched on Norwich itself. Kett and his followers camped on Mousehold Heath at first. The King's army eventually defeated the rebellion and the rebel leaders were hanged. Despite the damage done to the city during this and other rebellions, and heavy bombing during World War II, Norwich has survived the ravages of time well. Fortunately the most important historic buildings escaped severe damage, but some areas were badly hit. Much of historic interest remains within the boundaries of its ancient walls.
Little is known about the early defences of Norwich, although traces of them have been found. In 1253 a bank and ditch were constructed around much of the city, the eastern boundary being the river Wensum - an area of nearly a square mile was enclosed. Between 1297 and 1334 walls, mainly of flint, were built on the bank. Twelve gates gave access to the city (and also facilitated the collection of tolls). These gates were well fortified and supplied with great catapults, mostly paid for by a rich citizen, Richard Spynk, and wardens kept them in good repair. The gates were considerably damaged during Kett's Rebellion in 1549, but they were repaired and remained standing until the Corporation ordered their demolition between 1791 and 1808, partly in the interests of hygiene, but mainly because of the expense of their maintenance.
For many centuries Norwich has been dominated by its great castle, a symbol of military and political control founded by the Normans between 1066 and 1075 to help keep their newly acquired kingdom in subjection. The conquered Saxons were forced to raise a mound, some twenty-one metres high and surrounded by a dry ditch, at the end of a prominent ridge of land. A wooden palisade protected the timber buildings on top of the mound, while to the south and east of the mound were yards or baileys that protected by banks and ditches. The castle was built at the King's expense and was held for him by Earl Ralf of East Anglia. In 1075 Ralf, with two other earls, plotted against William I. The King was told of this, and Ralf fled to Brittany, leaving his wife Emma to hold Norwich Castle against the King's army. After three months she surrendered, but in recognition of her bravery was allowed to join her husband. About 1100, when the mound had settled, masons began to build the stone keep - it took about twenty years. Entry to the keep, which is some twenty-seven metres square by twenty-one metres high, was up a flight of stairs to a vestibule at first-floor level and through the grand entrance into the great hall. This large room, where most of the garrison lived and slept, took up much of the northern half of the keep. Beyond it were a pantry, a small private kitchen and latrines. The garrison's food was cooked in a separate kitchen outside the keep. The southern half of the keep was divided into a number of smaller rooms, including a chapel, the great chamber, with a large fireplace, used by the governor and a private room for the King to use when he visited. Most of the ground floor was used for storage, but at one end under the chapel were dungeons reached only by holes in the first floor. Two sets of spiral stairs led from the ground floor to the first floor, then to the wall gallery and finally to the battlements. The outside walls of the keep, which is one of the largest Norman keeps in this country, were decorated with arcading, a most unusual feature and used perhaps because it was built as a king's palace.
Norwich, it is said, once had an inn for every day of the year and a church for every Sunday. Medieval Norwich had 57 churches within the city walls, and 31 still exist. Most are Perpendicular in style and are skillfully built of local flint. In the heart of Norwich stands the Cathedral, separated from the busy streets by flint walls and entrance gates, but still a living part of the city. The Cathedral was begun in 1096, the vision of Herbert de Losinga, first bishop of Norwich. Building work on the Cathedral, a bishop's palace and the associated Benedictine monastery continued throughout his life, but the Cathedral was not finally consecrated until 1278. The building is mainly of Caen stone, a pale, honey-coloured limestone brought over from Normandy, but Norfolk flints form the core of the Cathedral, and stone from Northamptonshire was used for medieval additions. This great church has a Norman ground plan and walls, and a Perpendicular roof and spire, added after a fire caused by lightning destroyed the wooden roof and spire in 1463. The Cathedral spire is 315 ft (96m) high - second only in height to that of Salisbury. Below the tower, late medieval flying buttresses support the roof at the east end. The decision to replace the wooden roof of the nave with stone vaulting was taken by Bishop Walter Lyhart. Running from east to west, the stone ribs are joined by painted bosses that tell the story of the Bible from the Creation to the Last judgment.
Norwich lies at the centre of a great agricultural area, and thus for many
centuries it has been an important market town. The Saxon market was situated in
Tombland, but after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a new market was established in
the area known as 'Mancroft'. By 1300 the main market in Mancroft stretched from
Guildhall Hill almost to St Stephen's Church. Vegetables, fish, meat, bread,
cloth, shoes, livestock and many other commodities were each sold in their
proper place. A small area was kept for the use of smallholders who brought in
produce from the county for sale on market days. By the late seventeenth century
the market was becoming so congested that a new site for livestock sales had to
be found, and in 1738 the livestock market was moved to the 'castell dykes',
below the castle mound. There it remained until 1960, when it was transferred to
Harford Bridge. The main market continued to flourish. At one end stood the meat
and fish markets, separated by buildings from the rest of the area where not
only vegetables, but also 'cloth, hats, shoes, stockings, rope, books, etc. were
sold. In the 1930s the whole market was remodeled to accommodate the City Hall,
it was opened in 1938. Also by the Market Place is the Guildhall, with its fine
chequered flint work. This was built between 1407 and 1413 after the Charter of
1404 was granted to Norwich, allowing it a mayor and two sheriffs. Used for
civic and judicial functions for five hundred years, the Guildhall became the
city's Tourist Information Centre in 1986. Norwich Market Place today is still
one of the largest and finest of its kind in England.
In 1804, Jeremiah Colman moved from Bawburgh to Norwich and bought a flourmill. By 1814 he could afford to set up in Stoke Holy Cross watermill, and here he began the manufacture of mustard, which today has become one of Norwich's most important industries. When Colman died, the business was taken over by his great nephew, Jeremiah James Colman, who moved it into Norwich to be nearer the railway. The new Colman works at Carrow were opened in 1856.
The founder of the Norwich School of painting, John Crome, was born near the castle in 1768.
Admiral Lord Nelson, although born at Burnham Thorpe some miles away, attended Norwich School, within the precincts of the cathedral."
The flag of Norwich is hoisted over the city hall, which is "a copy of a famous Swedish building" (our guide could not tell us exactly which one). The flag is a banner of the municipal arms, that is a red flag with a white castle above a yellow leopard. According to Ralf Hartemink: "The City's arms are based on a seal of the XVth century. They were recorded and confirmed on 27th May 1562. The shield depicts Norwich castle and the royal lion of England. This was traditionally granted to the city by King Edward III (1327-1377). In past centuries the arms were shown surmounted by a fur cap and supported by angels. These additions were of no authority and are no longer used."
The image above was made using the coat of arms from Ralf Hartemink's website. On the real flag, the charges are of a more simplified design. I am not sure that the leopard has there a blue tongue and claw. The coat of arms of Norwich can be seen in several places in the city, including the Guildhall mentioned above.
Ivan Sache, 4 September 2004
by Ivan Sache
homepage of the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, says:
"UEA admitted its first 87 undergraduate students – in English Studies and Biological Sciences in 1963. People in Norwich had begun to talk about setting up a university in the city as long ago as last century, but it wasn’t until 1960, as the post-war ‘bulge’ generation was bringing about an expansion in higher education, that the University of East Anglia finally got the go-ahead.
UEA’s academic thinking was distinctive from the word go. The choice of ‘Do Different’ as the University’s motto was a deliberate signal that it was going to look at new ways of providing university education. At the heart of UEA innovative thinking was the principle of interdisciplinarity – that is, where related subjects are studied in combination with each other – and that principle shaped the setting up of the Schools of Studies. UEA has continued to be academically innovative throughout its development: recently, for instance, we were one of the first universities in Britain to introduce a modular, semester system for degree courses, providing even more flexible ways for students to combine units of teaching towards a degree.
The city had donated what was the Earlham municipal golf course for the site of the campus, and traces of the fairways can still be seen around the grounds today. In 1962, Denys Lasdun (who designed the National Theatre) was appointed as UEA’s founding architect, and was asked to produce an integrated physical design which would reflect and complement the academic structure. It was Lasdun who designed the University’s core buildings including the monumental Teaching Wall, the raised walkways, the central Square and, most famously, the striking ‘ziggurats’ of Norfolk and Suffolk Terrace. His plan was that no building on campus should be more than five minutes’ walk away from any other – an intention that has been honoured as far as possible despite the building expansion over the last 10 years.
Lasdun’s legacy also includes the acronym ‘UEA’, now enshrined in the University’s logo, as that is how he designated it in his early plans and drawings. The University motto ‘Do Different’ comes from the old Norfolk saying, “people in Norfolk do things different”. The Coat of Arms records the University’s association with East Anglia, the City of Norwich and the first Chancellor, Lord Mackintosh.
The most striking, and perhaps best known, of all of Lasdun’s contributions to UEA was the pyramidal residential accommodation for students which he called ‘Ziggurats’ (after a type of pyramidal temple tower built in ancient Mesopotamia). The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, designed by Sir Norman Foster, opened in 1978 following the gift of Sir Robert and Lisa Sainsbury’s magnificent art collection. The Crescent Wing was added in 1991. The Sainsbury Centre has won international acclaim for the breadth and quality of its exhibitions, as well as many architectural awards."
UEA has a coat of arms and a flag. The flag is hoisted over the big tower dominating the main building of the university. The description of the coat of arms is the following: "The University motto ‘Do Different’ comes from the old Norfolk saying, “people in Norfolk do things different”. The Coat of Arms records the University’s association with East Anglia, the City of Norwich and the first Chancellor, Lord Mackintosh." The flag is a banner of arms: it shows on a blue field a white castle above three yellow crowns. The flag is very similar to the flag of Norwich, recalled by the Norman castle. The three crowns on blue are the traditional arms of East Anglia, which are identical to the lesser arms of Sweden, from where the East Anglian royal dynasty, the Wuffingas, were supposed to have originated. As for the municipal flag of Norwich, the design of the charges on the flag is simplified compared with the coat of arms.
Ivan Sache, 4 September 2004