Tuesday, June 30, 2009.

The Flag of Scotland is a white saltire, a crux decussate (X-shaped cross) representing the cross of the Christian martyr Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, on a blue field. It is named the Saltire or the Saint Andrew's Cross.

Well done Andy Murray !! You deserve a rest today, and so do the rest of the UK for keeping us up watching Wimbledon until 10.40 pm .

Vernonflag is resting too, there will be no flag flying today!


Flying Monday June 29, 2009

On June 29 1534 Jacques Cartier made the European discovery of Prince Edward Island. I am flying the Prince Edward Island flag today in Vernon Street.

The upper third of the flag features the English heraldic lion which appeared both on the coat of arms of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, for whom the province is named, and on that of King Edward VII. The lower two-thirds show an island on which appear three small oak saplings representing the three counties of PEI (Prince, Queens, and Kings) – under the protection of a great oak tree which represents Great Britain. This symbolism is also reflected in the provincial motto, Parva sub ingenti (the small under the protection of the great).

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent was the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria. He served as Colonel of the 7th Royal Fusiliers. The Fusiliers were ordered to Canada in May 1791. In 1799 he was promoted to the rank of general and appointed the commander-in-chief of the forces in British North America. For most of this period he lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was instrumental in shaping that port's military defences for protecting the important Royal Navy base.

Prince Edward Island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence . The island has two urban areas. The largest surrounds Charlottetown Harbour, situated centrally on the island's southern shore, and consists of the capital city Charlottetown, and suburban towns Cornwall and Stratford and a developing urban fringe. A much smaller urban area surrounds Summerside Harbour, situated on the southern shore 40 km (25 mi) west of Charlottetown Harbour, and consists primarily of the city of Summerside.

Jacques Cartier (December 31, 1491–September 1, 1557) was a French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona (Quebec City) and at Hochelaga (Montreal Island)

Jacques Cartier discovered the island in 1534. As part of the French colony of Acadia, the island was called "Île Saint-Jean". Roughly one thousand Acadians lived on the island. However, many fled to the island from mainland Nova Scotia during the British-ordered expulsion in 1755. Many more were forcibly deported in 1758 when British soldiers were ordered to capture the island.

Great Britain obtained the island from France under the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1763 which settled the Seven Years' War, calling the colony St. John's Island (also the Island of St. John's).

In September 1864, Prince Edward Island hosted the Charlottetown Conference, which was the first meeting in the process leading to the Articles of Confederation and the creation of Canada in 1867. Prince Edward Island did not find the terms of union favourable and balked at joining in 1867, choosing to remain a colony of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Charlottetown Conference

Prince Edward Island later entered Confederation on 1 July 1873. As a result of having hosted the inaugural meeting of Confederation, the Charlottetown Conference, Prince Edward Island presents itself as the "Birthplace of Confederation"

An unofficial Canadian Red Ensign from 1873 after Prince Edward Island joined Canada as the seventh province.

See also my blog of June 13 where I gave some more details of the evolution of the Canadian national flags. http://vernonflag.blogspot.com/2009/06/flying-saturday-june-13-2009.html


Flying Sunday June 28, 2009.

Today is a day that no flag in my collection can be too easily related to the day so I am going to fly the flag of Derbyshire:

The introduction of the flag came about as a result of a feature on BBC Radio Derby in 2006. A listener who had noticed the prominent use of Saint Piran's Flag while visiting Cornwall wanted to know whether Derbyshire had an equivalent symbol. As no flag to represent the county existed, a campaign to design one with the aid of listeners' suggestions was launched. The finished flag, designed by Martin Enright from Derby, was unveiled on 22 September 2006. Readers will know I get upset when flags are flown upside down, the above image is correct, and the flag is not symmetrical along the horizontal axis, so can be flown upside down in error.

I can fly this flag as a tribute to the beauty of the countryside of Derbyshire. On Friday I took myself for a day’s hike between Bakewell and Buxton. I had dropped off my daughter and fellow classmates on a 3 day hike for their Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Silver Award, and I then took myself off to the Monsal Trail, an old railway long distance footpath that, when I was a child at school in Bakewell in 1959-1964, was the route of the mainline train from London to Manchester. It was, and still is as a footpath, one of the most spectacular lengths of track in the UK. It is extraordinary how well nature has reclaimed, indeed enhanced, what was fairly brutal work by the Victorian railway builders who cut through those dales.

Horse riders on the old track

View from Monsal Head. The former line goes through a number of tunnels, walkers now have to climb up and over the hills to re-join the track.

Cressbroook Mill

The millpond above Cressbrook Mill.

The river is full of brown trout !

Wild strawberries love to grow on the old limestone chippings of the track

Back up on the limestone plateau, looking north towards the moors of furthest north Derbyshire, Chapel-en-le- Frith and Hathersage.

The old Midland Pullman, the train I use to love to "spot" from my prep school in Bakewell circa 1962; it passed by morning and evening with it's Manchester businessmen heading to and from London.

The The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The concept of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is simple – anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. There are four sections at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold. With assistance from adult Leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:

Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community.

Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.

Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.

Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.

At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home doing a shared activity.

My daughter Alice, left, with school friends Bliss and Holly, on a dry run for their Bronze award in early 2008.


Flying Saturday June 27, 2009.

Today is Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom. I have selected the historical flag known as that of King Richard I, Richard the Lionheart. It will be flying in Vernon Street from 8 am !

Veterans' Day in the United Kingdom (UK) is an annual event celebrated on 27 June to commemorate the service of men and women in British Armed Forces. Veterans' Day was first observed in 2006. From 2009, there will now be Armed Forces Day celebrations held on the same day, to celebrate the achievements of those currently serving in the armed forces.

The flag of Richard I. Three leopards passant. In heraldic terms these are leopards, not lions. I am unable to establish how or if the colouring relates to King Richard, as often the leopards are shown against a red background.

Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Ireland, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was known as Cœur de Lion or, Richard the Lionheart, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior.

This image of Richard is erroneously labelled as Edward. The coats of arms of the Duchy of Normandy and Duchy of Aquitaine, show the source of the three leopards passant.

At age 16, Richard was already commanding his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father, King Henry II. Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, effectively leading the campaign after the departure of Philip Augustus, and scoring considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin

While he spoke very little English and spent very little time in his Kingdom, preferring to use it as a source of revenue to support his armies, he was seen as a pious hero by his subjects. He remains one of the very few Kings of England remembered by his epithet, not number, and is an enduring, iconic figure in England.

In the early evening of 25 March 1199, Richard was walking around the perimeter of the Château de Chalus-Chabrol, a castle now in Haute-Vienne, France. He was without his chainmail, investigating the progress of sappers on the castle walls. Arrows were occasionally shot from the castle walls, but these were given little attention. One defender in particular amused the king greatly — a man standing on the walls, crossbow in one hand, the other clutching a frying pan which he had been using all day as a shield to beat off missiles. He deliberately aimed an arrow at the king, which the king applauded. However, another arrow then struck him in the left shoulder near the neck. He tried to pull this out in the privacy of his tent but failed; a surgeon, called a 'butcher' by Hoveden, removed it, 'carelessly mangling' the King's arm in the process. The wound swiftly became gangrenous. Accordingly, Richard asked to have the crossbowman brought before him; the man turned out to be a boy. This boy claimed that Richard had killed the boy's father and two brothers, and that he had shot Richard in revenge. The boy expected to be executed; Richard, as a last act of mercy, forgave the boy of his crime, saying, "Live on, and by my bounty behold the light of day," before ordering the boy to be freed and sent away with 100 shillings. Richard then set his affairs in order, bequeathing all his territory to his brother John and his jewels to his nephew Otto.

Richard's heart was buried at Rouen in Normandy. His brain was buried at the abbey of Charroux in Poitou, and the rest of his body was buried at the feet of his father at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou.

Possibly one of the most seen Kings of England on the BBC TV News, Richard rides defiantly outside the Palace of Westminster.

The three leopards passant still appear on the shield of the coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth II, as shown here on the English £1 coin, and in part on the smaller coins, issued in 2008.


Flying Friday June 26, 2009.

Eleanor of Provence died on 24/25 June 1291. She was Queen Consort of King Henry III of England from 1236 until his death in 1272.

I will fly a current flag of Provence, France, today.

Eleanor was born in Aix-en-Provence, she was the second eldest daughter of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence (1198-1245) and Beatrice of Savoy (1205–1267), the daughter of Thomas I of Savoy and his second wife Marguerite of Geneva. All four of their daughters became queens. Like her mother, grandmother, and sisters, Eleanor was renowned for her beauty. She was a dark-haired brunette with fine eyes. On 22 June 1235, Eleanor was bethrothed to King Henry III of England (1207-1272). Eleanor was probably born in 1223; Matthew Paris describes her as being "jamque duodennem" (already twelve) when she arrived in the Kingdom of England for her marriage.

Provence: Described formally as "Azure a fleur-de-lis or and a label of three points gules"

Above is my flag. This is just one of two flags are used today to represent Provence, based on the two "traditional" arms of Provence. The other being:


This should not be confused with that of the north east Spanish Autonomous Region of Catalonia:


There is no evidence they were ever used either as the flag of the County of Provence or as the flag of the province of Provence within the Kingdom of France.

Today, the banners of those two arms are widely used in Provence, sometimes together. The Occitanists probably prefer the second Aragonese banner, which refers to the golden age of the Occitan, independent Provence. In the department of Vaucluse, several municipalities have added their name in Provencal on the road shields, which bear the Aragonese arms.

In my flag, the blue flag above, the arms are a simplification of the arms of Count of Provence Charles d'Anjou. In his Histoire de Provence, Nostradamus writes that the label has five points, but it seems that the label always had three points.

The current Provence

Flying Thursday June 25, 2009.

Today is Statehood Day in Slovenia, the anniversary of the declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. I don’t have a Slovenian flag, and as this is a blog about flags, not a site for national back scratching or rubbing salt in wounds, I hope that flying the flag of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will not offend, at least in Vernon Street.

Above: The flag of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It consisted of three equal horizontal bands coloured in pan-Slavic colors - blue (top), white and red - with yellow bordered red star, symbol of communism, at the flag's centre. It was created during Second World War by replacing the royal coat of arms on the flag of pre-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia with the red star of communism. The first flag for Democratic Federal Yugoslavia had a red star in the centre stripe of the Yugoslav tricolour. After the war it was given its final shape by enlarging the star and adding a narrow yellow border.

The Republic of Slovenia is a country in Central Europe bordering Italy to the west, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north. The capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana. The current flag is as below.

The current flag of The Republic of Slovenia

Prior to 1991 the flag of Slovenia as within the Yugoslav Socialist Republic was similar to the flag of the Republic itself, but with blue and white reversed, as follows:

The flag of Slovenia as a Yugoslav Socialist Republic.

Slovenia has been part of the Roman Empire; partly the Republic of Venice; the principality Carantania (only modern Slovenia's northern part); the Holy Roman Empire; the Habsburg Monarchy; the Austrian Empire (later known as Austria-Hungary); the State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs; the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (renamed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929); partly Kingdom of Italy; between the two World Wars occupied by Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Independent State of Croatia (1941–1945); and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 until independence in 1991.

Slovenia is a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, the Schengen area, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and NATO.


Flying Wednesday June 24, 2009.

Quebec: The National Holiday of Quebec is the National Holiday of the Canadian province of Quebec. A paid statutory public holiday covered by the Act Respecting Labour Standards, it is celebrated annually on June 24, St. John the Baptist Day.

La Fête nationale du Québec a lieu le 24 juin. Au Québec, ce jour est férié et chômé en vertu de la Loi sur la fête nationale. La fête nationale est souvent appelée la Saint-Jean-Baptiste ou la Saint-Jean pour des raisons historiques.

The Quebec flag, the Fleurdelisé, takes its white cross from the ancient royal flags of France and its white fleurs-de-lis and blue field from a banner honouring the Virgin Mary reputedly carried by French-Canadian militia at General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm's victory at Carillon (now Ticonderoga, New York). Contrary to popular belief, the fleurs-de-lis are not taken from the banner of the kings of France, who used golden fleurs-de-lis. The white fleurs-de-lis on Quebec's flag are symbols of purity, which originally represented the Virgin Mary.

La croix est un symbole chrétien. De couleur blanche, elle renvoie au catholicisme. Centrée et droite, elle est typique des anciens royaumes d’Europe occidentale. L'utilisation de croix blanches sur les drapeaux français remonte au XIIIe-XIVe siècle.

Comme pour le « Carillon », ancêtre direct du Fleurdelisé, le bleu symbolisait à l'origine la Vierge Marie. S’éloignant peu à peu de sa symbolique originelle, la couleur du drapeau est devenue nettement plus foncée au fil des années. Il est intéressant de noter que des drapeaux bleus à croix blanche sont attestés en France comme symboles militaires ou de la marine marchande dès le XVIe siècle.

Quebec is the only Canadian province and North American jurisdiction with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level.

Le Québec a un territoire d’une superficie de 1 667 441 km2 (soit 3 fois plus grand que la France) et une population de 7 744 530 habitants composée de divers groupes linguistiques et socio-culturels, dont onze nations autochtones. Sa langue officielle est le français, langue maternelle et d'usage de 80 % de la population.

Quebec was one of the first four provinces to form Canada under the Constitution Act, 1867, which brought about a Confederation of one Dominion under the name of Canada consisting of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The coat of arms of Quebec formed part of the first Canadian Red Ensign, the then unofficial flag of Canada. It changed a number of times as more provinces and territories joined and by 1905 the shield on the Red Ensign had nine coats of arms of the current nine provinces represented on it.


Flying Tuesday June 23, 2009.

Luxembourg: The Grand Duke's Official Birthday is celebrated as an annual national holiday in Luxembourg. It is celebrated on 23 June, although this has never been the actual birthday of any ruler of Luxembourg. So today you will see a Luxembourg flag flying in Vernon Street.

The official ensign for ships registered in Luxembourg

Henri Albert Gabriel Félix Marie Guillaume became Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg on November 12 1964 and was educated in Luxembourg and in France, where he obtained his baccalaureate in 1974. He then studied political sciences at University of Geneva, graduating in 1980. The Grand Duke also undertook military officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, England.

Henri Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Strictly the national flag of Luxembourg consists of three horizontal stripes, red, white and blue.

The national flag of Luxembourg

It was first used between 1845 and 1848 and officially adopted on June 23, 1972. Luxembourg had no flag until 1830, when patriots were urged to display the national colors. The flag was not officially adopted until 1972.

The red lion flag flown today is the official ensign for ships registered in Luxembourg. It is used for river and sea shipping, as well as for aviation. This flag is based on the Coat of arms of Luxembourg and is used as the ensign to avoid the possibility of Luxembourg's ensign being confused for that of the Netherlands. Ten white and blue stripes serve as the field for a red lion with a yellow tongue and crown.

The tricolor flag is almost identical to that of the Netherlands, except that it is longer and its blue stripe is a lighter shade.

The flag of the Netherlands, the blue being marginally darker, but confusing nonetheless.

There have been moves to replace the current red-white-blue national flag with the red lion ensign. It is argued that the current flag was commonly confused with that of the Netherlands and that the red lion on the other hand was more popular, more aesthetic and of greater historic value.

There has been reaction against this idea, and also a formal obstacle for replacing the flag could be that the neighbouring Belgian province of Luxembourg also uses a flag similar to the red lion flag. The State flag of the German state of Hesse also incorporates a very similar design.

The flag of the Belgian Province of Luxenbourg, and that of the German State of Hesse


Flying Monday June 22, 2009.

Today is one of those days on which I am stumped to find a flag in my collection that I can relate to this day in history, so I have an excuse to fly what I like, and have chosen a flag I have not flown before. I bought it a couple of years ago on EBay, and it is a nice quality flag, of good durability, reasonably heavy, so I hope for a fair wind.

The flag is that of the Queens Award Industry, Export Award, and individual categories have been known in the past as The Queen's Awards for Export, Export Achievement, Technology, Technological Achievement and Environmental Achievement.

The award scheme has now been superseded by The Queen's Awards for Enterprise.

This is an awards programme for British businesses and other organizations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses. The new scheme also includes an award for individuals, The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion.

My career as an accountant was spent almost wholly in insolvency work, and it was always said that a Queen's Award gave a year’s flag waving, followed by liquidation. There is inevitably some truth in this. Business failure is a simple fact of life and more businesses fail in their first few years that succeed. This is even more the case amongst those who have the daring, skill, and knowledge to push the boundaries in commerce and industry.

Sadly I never found out to which business this flag belonged.

This Queen's Award for Technological Achievement was awarded in 1979 to the Department of Chemistry, Hull University, for work on the synthesis of liquid-crystalline materials in the 1970's which brought forth the first commercially viable liquid crystal materials for use in LCDs.


Flying Sunday June 21, 2009.

On this day in 524 A.D., Godomar, King of the Burgundians (*) defeated (***) the Franks (**) at the Battle of Vézeronce. So today I will fly my Burgundy Cross.

*The Burgundians were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose old form in Old Norse still was Burgundarholmr (the Island of the Burgundians), and from there to mainland Europe.

** The Franks The Franks were a West Germanic tribal confederation first attested in the 3rd century as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. Under the Merovingian dynasty, they founded one of the Germanic monarchies which replaced the Western Roman Empire from the 5th century. The Frankish state consolidated its hold over large parts of western Europe by the end of the eighth century, developing into the Carolingian Empire and its successor states.

*** This may be wrong. It seems the Burgundians may have been defeated. It appears Sigismund, King of the Burgundians was captured, and put to death by the Frankish in revenge for the death in battle of Chlodomir, the leader of the Frankish army. Whatever the correct events, this is only about an excuse to fly a flag today !!

Burgundy as part of the Frankish Empire between 534 and 843

Spanish connection to the Burgundy Cross

The saltire was originally a Burgundian emblem, first introduced in Spain as the personal badge of Phillip the Handsome (Felipe el Hermoso), Duke of Burgundy and King Consort of Castile and Aragon, having married Joan of Castile and Aragon (daughter of the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Elizabeth). Joan and Phillip were the parents of Charles I of Spain, Charles V as German Emperor.

As such, the badge has been called in Spain "cross (or, more properly, saltire) of Burgundy" (cruz or aspa de Borgoña), even if the term "cross/saltire of St. Andrew" (cruz or aspa de San Andrés) has also been used — St. Andrew being the patron saint of the Duchy of Burgundy. The Burgundy Cross is nevertheless related to St. Andrew indeed, not through the patronage of a Spanish army branch, but through its Burgundian origin.

Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion. It is said that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as

"Saint Andrew's Cross"; this was performed at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ was crucified.

The Cross of Burgundy flag was used by Spain 1506-1701 as a naval ensign, and up to 1843 as the land battle flag, and still appears on regimental colours, badges, shoulder patches and company guidons. The year 1506 should be considered its theoretical earliest use in Spain (that is, it made appearance on the standards carried by Philip the Handsome's Burgundian life guards), although about 1525 might be perhaps a more likely estimate. The banner strictly speaking dates back to the early 15th century (allegedly 1408 at the earliest), when the Duke of Burgundy, claimant to the French throne, backed up the English in the Hundred Years' War..

It is one of the most important flags in the history of Spain. After the marriage of Joanna of Castile (Joanna the Mad), daughter of the Catholic monarchs, with Archduke of Austria and later Philip I of Castile (Philip the Handsome), it was introduced among the Spanish flags a piece that, although of foreign origin, would later become the Spanish symbol by antonomasia, whatever the color of cloth where it will be embroidered would be (mainly white and yellow). It is more properly called "Cruz de San Andrés" (Saint Andrew's Cross) or, "Vane of Burgundy". This was the symbol of the Archduke. Since Emperor Charles I of Spain, the different armies used the flag with the Cross of Burgundy over different fields, first incorporated to the uniforms of the Archers of Burgundy and later to the rest of the army, painted on the dresses to distinguish themselves in combat. It soon appeared also on the flags that, up to present-day, wear the regiments of Spain.

Both, the Cross of Burgundy and the blazon of the Catholic Monarchs were the first European symbols to arrive to the New World.

During the Spanish colonization of the Americas the Cross of Burgundy served as the flag of the Viceroyalties of the New World (Bandera de Ultramar). Nations that were once part of the Spanish Empire consider "las aspas de Borgoña" to be a historical flag, particularly appropriate for museum exhibits and the remains of the massive harbor-defense fortifications built in the 1600s-1700s. At both San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico, and at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, Florida, the Cross of Burgundy is daily flown over the historic forts, built by Spain to defend their lines of communication between the territories of their New World empire. The flying of this flag reminds people today of the impact Spain and its military had on world history for over 400 years.

Cross of Burgundy alongside Puerto Rico and U.S. flags at Fort San Cristóbal.