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Lancashire (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2006-08-19 by rob raeside
Keywords: lancashire | liverpool | duchy of lancaster |
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Lancashire County

The emblem of Lancashire is the red rose, in contrast to the white rose of Yorkshire. However, this emblem does not seem to have been used on a flag.  The red rose was originally a symbol of Lancaster, and seems to have been invented by Henry VII.  He however used the combined "Tudor Rose", so the red rose alone would never have been used.
Nathan Lamm, 9 September 2002

There is also a Lancaster Herald whose badge is a red rose royally crowned - see
Joe McMillan, 20 February 2002  

There is indeed a Lancashire flag: a red rose on a white background. It can be seen flying from some businesses (e.g. the Lancashire House Hotel, where I stay when I'm visiting Lancaster University), and can be purchased from a number of flag vendors online. I'm told by several locals that it flies from Preston County Hall, but I haven't yet confirmed this myself; eventually I'll try to get a photo which will confirm semi-official status.
James Sterbenz, 11 February 2006

There is, apparently, an official flag for Lancashire, but am reasonably certain that the one described above is not it. I have no background so cannot confirm that this is the design, but the one of which I am aware consists of three gold triangles (two upright and one reversed) on a red field, with three red roses one in the centre of each triangle. I have the definite feeling that the red rose on white described by James is actually a commercial venture, and despite what he was told the only flag I have ever seen flying from the County Hall in Preston is the Union Jack?
Christopher Southworth, 11 February 2006

This flag as described by Christopher would be a banner of arms of Lancashire County Council.
Laurence Jones, 12 February 2006

City of Liverpool

It seems that Liverpool has no flag. The arms are a gold liverbird bearing an olive branch in its mouth on an argent field.
Source: Ensign & Jack #8
Jaume Ollé, 24 January 2001

Carr, 1961, says "Liverpool's arms date from 1797, when the heralds, having never heard of Litherland close by, were left to choose between the pool of laver - that is, the seaweed Porphyra - and the pool of the liver, a bird unknown to naturalists; and, failing to find a figure of the imaginary bird, they invented a sort of short-necked cormorant, into whose beak they put a couple of fronds of Porphyra in case it was Liverpool after all. This very neat instance of heraldic hedging did not, however, meet with the success it deserved, for the old name was discovered to be Litherpool - that is, the sluggish pool - yet the cormorant and the seaweed remain, for they are in the grant."
Carr therefore suggests that cities may use banners of arms.
Jarig Bakker, 2 April 2002

[Arms of Liverpool]

It is a cormorant on the arms of Liverpool. It was inspired by an American flag with a bald eagle on it, and developed with a hint of the famous Liverpool humour. The "liver birds" are Oliver and Olivia - she looking out to sea waiting for her true love to return, he looking into the city to see if the pubs are open!
Valerie Sullivan, 16 June 2004

The late Fritz Spiegl, who was an authority on all things Liverpudlian (and who wrote a four volume series entitled 'Lern Yersel Scouse' under the pseudonym Linacre Lane), claimed that the Liver Bird was based on a pelican, the local artist who was commissioned to draw the bird (a) had never seen one and (b) was drunk at the time.
Ron Lahav, 18 April 2005

Concerning the Liverbird, I can't believe people think the Liverbird is a cormorant. I felt the need, being from Liverpool myself and being very proud of my city, to set the record straight. The original seal of Liverpool was based on the heraldic emblem of King John, which was an eagle. The original seal was broken some time during Liverpool's history and when the new seal was created the artist couldn't quite render the eagle as well as the original, so it came to look something like a cormorant.
Neil Evans, 7 May 2006

See also:

Royal Mersey Yacht Club

[Royal Mersey Yacht Club]

The special ensign of the Royal Mersey Yacht Club. Founded Birkenhead 1844. Title 'Royal' granted 23 September 1844. Admiralty Warrant for special ensign granted 24 September 1844. Original badge was just the Liver bird; crown added between 1869 and 1875.

David Prothero, 8 Octiber 2002

Mersey Docks and Harbour Board

[Mersey Docks and Harbour Board] located by Jan Mertens

Source: Port Cities

On the Port Cities web site (search for "Flag") are also many proposals for a Mersey Docks and Harbour Board house flag. The flag is from the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
Jan Mertens, 11 February 2005

Mersey Docks and Harbour Board has long since been privatized and has a different name now, but I don't know if it has a new flag as well.
Ron Lahav, 12 February 2005