A Flag For East Lothian – Haddingtonshire

The county of East Lothian announced a competition to select a county flag in late November 2017. The venture was organised jointly by East Lothian Council and the Scottish Flag Trust, in association with local newspaper East Lothian Courier, under the auspices of the Scottish heraldic authority, the Lord Lyon.

Seen below, launching the competition, are

FROM LEFT: Dave Williamson, Scottish Flag Trust; Michael Williams, Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian; Joe Morrow, Lord Lyon; and Provost of East Lothian John McMillan launch the ‘Design a flag for East Lothian’ competition

at left, Dave Williamson, of the Scottish Flag Trust; Michael Williams, Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian to his right; Joseph Morrow, Lord Lyon and at far right, Provost of East Lothian, John McMillan.


Commenting on the launch, Councillor John McMillan, Provost for East Lothian, said: “Having a distinctive new civic flag for East Lothian will allow individuals and groups across the county to express pride in their local community, to celebrate their heritage and help raise recognition and awareness of East Lothian nationwide. I think this competition will capture the imagination of many people and will attract a great deal of interest from across the county, as well as further afield. I’m particularly keen for our schools to get involved too and I very much look forward to seeing all the entries as I’m sure they’ll be varied and inspiring.”

Michael Williams, Lord Lieutenant for East Lothian, observed that: “East Lothian is a very unique place and it is important that the county has its own flag. I am very interested to see what people come up with.”

Dave Williamson, chairman of the Scottish Flag Trust, added: “What makes this initiative particularly special is the collaborative working between East Lothian Council and the Scottish Flag Trust, along with the support and guidance of the Lord Lyon. We are hopeful that this competition, followed by a public vote, will deliver a new flag that will reflect the county and be welcomed by everyone.”

The competition ran through February 2018, closing on the 28th. It received a whopping 623 entries, from as far afield as the USA and New Zealand.


Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Provost, said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed that we received so many entries of such a high standard.

“We will be in touch with everyone who took the time to submit a design in due course and the public vote will be launched soon. I hope as many people as possible will vote for their favourite so we can have an East Lothian flag to be proud of.”

David Williamson, chairman of the Scottish Flag Trust, added: “The response to the competition has been tremendous, especially from East Lothian schools, so a big thank you is due.”

Four final designs were selected from this vast array of submissions, by a panel comprised of the above individuals and representatives from the East Lothian Courier


, at Haddington on the 8th of June 2018. The four finalists will be entered into a public vote over the summer. with the winning design set to be revealed on Saint Andrew’s Day, November 30th, following its registration by the Lord Lyon. The final designs will be available to view and vote on at the council’s offices, through the pages and website of the East Lothian Courier and on East Lothian Council’s website.


Any queries regarding the competition terms and conditions should be emailed to info@scottishflagtrust.com.


Several local themes that might have inspired designs for an East Lothian flag, include the red and ermine bars found in the arms of the local councileastlothian-coat-armswhich in turn derive from the arms used by the Giffords of Yester,


a family given lands in East Lothian, by King William the Lion (1165-1214). The goat and tree found in the civic arms of the county town, Haddington

                       haddington haddington2

have also been used to denote the county, appearing on this East Lothian Rifle Volunteers belt

rifle belt

And an obvious inspiration and possible design basis, is of course the national flag of Scotland itself, the Saltire


which legend holds originated at the Battle of Athelstaneford, in the county.


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