The flag of Worcestershire was registered on April 8th 2013. It was designed by county resident Elaine Truby
and was the winning entry
in the county flag competition held by BBC Hereford and Worcester. The flag features three of the county’s famed black pears, a symbol which the seventeenth century poet Michael Drayton asserted was the emblem borne by men from the county at the Battle of Agincourt, “’Wor’ster a pear tree laden with its fruit‘”. The dull, purple-like skin
gives the fruit a black appearance and hence the name. Three of these pears are seen on a shield, charged against a wavy green and blue background. These latter colours symbolise the verdant flood plain of the River Severn as it runs through the county.
The flag was raised over Worcestershire Cathedral on Monday April 8th when it was revealed as the competition winner.
Local MP Mark Garnier commented: ‘The flag looks brilliant and I think it represents Worcestershire perfectly. I congratulate Mrs Truby on winning the BBC competition and making such a significant contribution to our county’s identity.’
Fellow MP Robin Walker declared “I am excited by the opportunity for our great historic county to at last be able to celebrate its identity with our own flag. Worcestershire is a very special place to which I am proud to belong and I think having a flag of our own will help us to draw attention to our wonderful part of the world.”
Local Councillor Rob Adams, added: “I’m very pleased to have taken part in the process of selecting a flag for Worcestershire. I’m immensely proud of belonging to this beautiful county, and have been impressed by the large number of entries for the competition, which demonstrates clearly the pride our residents and especially our young people have in their county.”
The flag was also enthusiastically received by the county’s business community and Mike Ashton, chief executive of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said: “A new flag for the county is a great way of creating more ownership and enthusiasm for the local community and very much part of creating and buying into a local identity.”
The new flag was promoted by members of the BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester audience
, proclaimed by Bromsgrove’s town crier
and embraced by local civic dignitaries, left and right below and the county’s MPs, centre
It is seen here with locally born, popular entertainer, Lenny Henry
and here with the mascots of local football teams
Many of the elements in the newly registered flag are also found, in a more pictorial realisation, in the arms borne by the county councilwhich feature a pear tree with the wavy blue and white stripes at the base, representative of the River Severn. Tradition holds that the pear tree commemorates a visit to Worcester by Elizabeth 1st, who was so pleased to see a pear tree which had been planted in the Foregate in her honour, growing right in the heart of a fruit growing region, that she bade the city add the emblem of pears to its Coat of Arms. One of the two coats of arms borne by the town of Worcester itself, displays three Worcestershire black pears, an arrangement
that has now been included on the new county flag. Interestingly, some depictions of these arms, which appeared on locally issued currency
lack the black bar, heraldically termed a “fess”, across the middle of the design, anticipating the appearance of the pears on the modern flag!
A further legend linking the fruitful shire with the pear tree, again involving Agincourt, is that the Worcester Archers rallied under pear trees before the battle. It is interesting to note that pear blossom was borne as a badge by the Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry
from the beginning of the 20th century until 1956.
Accordingly the theme of pears appears in the insignia of local organisations. The county football association has opted for the full pear tree
while West Mercia police covering Worcestershire, includes pears in its badges and logos
and pears appear on the badge of Worcseter Rugby Club;
and Worcestershire Cricket Club;
which has itself raised a flag based on its club badge
The dark green of this flag is that worn by the cricket team on the field of play.
This colour and the theme of pears similarly appeared on a vast number of the entries in the recent flag competition, two of which are shown below;
Varying realisations of an armorial banner, derived from the above council arms e.g.
are available commercially, variously described as Worcestershire flag or county
flag of Worcestershire etc. Such banners only represent Worcestershire County Council and are not Worcestershire county flags.
Since registration the flag has been raised around the county
and promoted by the county tourist service, left and right below and fire fighters, centre
The flag has appeared as a window sticker, at left below, been incorporated into a proposed sign welcoming people to the county, centre and borne by a descending red devil parachutist.