Last modified: 2006-02-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: rutland | horseshoe | acorns | england |
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This Monday the Times of London carried an article on the restoration of old counties in the United Kingdom. Specifically, it focused on the county of Rutland, the smallest in the country, it was said. The restoration of Rutland was to be celebrated by a flag-hoisting ceremony (and much more in addition). Here is a quotation from the article:
A green banner emblazoned with a golden horseshoe in a ring of acorns will be hoisted proudly tomorrow to show that the smallest county in England has been officially restored to the map.
The horseshoe has been the symbol of Rutland at least since William the Conqueror gave the 125-square-mile estate to Baron Henri de Ferrers, whose family gave its name to farriers. One of his privileges was to claim the forfeit of a horseshoe from anyone of rank visiting his lordship in Oakham, where the castle has a collection presented by monarchs and lords dating back to the 15th century. The custom persists to this day and proud Raddlemen, as natives are known, point to it as proof that they are a race apart.
The flag-raising ceremony will mark the end of 23 years of overlordship by neighbouring Leicestershire, into which Rutland was forcibly incorporated in 1974. Under the leadership of Sir Kenneth Ruddle, the brewing magnate, the tiny county had fought off two previous postwar attempts to abolish it, but its defences crumbled before the bureaucratic logicality of Lord Redcliffe-Maud when he redrew shire boundaries.
Ian Murray: "Thinking small on the road to independence", The Times, 31 March 1997.
Jan Oskar Engene, 2 April 1997
The flag of Rutland county council is based on the coat of arms. The descriptions of these is: Vert, semée of acorns, a horsehoe Or. Crest: on a wreath of the colours, in front of a horsehoe an acorn Or, leaved and slipped proper. Motto: Multum in parvo. The arms were granted on 1 May 1950.
Pascal Vagnat, 3 April 1997