A Flag For Aberdeenshire

A competition to design a flag for Aberdeenshire was announced on September 7th 2022 in the county based “Press And Journal” newspaper, stating

“Recently, Scottish counties including Sutherland and Caithness have gained eye-catching new flags after residents were asked for their input. And today, it’s not difficult to see each of those designs on flagpoles across those areas in a clear display of local pride. We want the same for Aberdeenshire: a flag that represents the very best of the region.”

A joint venture between the Aberdeen Lieutenancy, the Court of the Lord Lyon and the Flag Institute, the competition has featured selection of a shortlist, drawn from from all entries received, now submitted for a public vote, with a winner set to be announced in early 2023.

When the competition was announced, Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Sandy Manson,

commented, “You think of the diversity of Aberdeenshire from mountain to sea. “You think of our history and our culture. “I can’t pretend that will be an easy thing to capture, but I believe there will be some very creative minds out there who will come up with symbols and colours that will really capture the essence of what is a very distinctive and proud county.”

Five designs were subsequently presented on December 1st 2022, as follows, for a month long period of voting, with the winner to be announced later in January 2023.

Design A

features a bi-coloured cross of blue, representing the county’s significant rivers, the Don and the Dee and its arable land and wild woodland, green. The shades used to form the cross are quite distinct with a lighter blue and a darker green. The bright golden background of the design represents, light reflecting the fact that the county is the first in mainland Scotland to greet the dawn and its status of being a good place to stars, at night. At the centre, the cross is broken by a golden square, the same as the background colour, upon which is a red crown, taken from the local civic arms

used by the former Aberdeenshire county council and current Aberdeenshire District council, where three such crowns appeared in a lower left quarter, alongside a checkered bar, representing the district of Garioch.

Design B

displays two salmon embowed to form a circle shape at the centre of the flag, each flanking doubled  gold diagonal stripes. The salmon symbolise the shire’s important fishing industry, both out at sea and within the county’s waterways and the circular form,  the natural life cycle that unites them. The diagonal stripes represent the two ancient mormaer (provincial, regional) earldoms of the historic county, Mar

and Buchan,

both of which used arms of blue with gold charges, the diagonal stripe inspired by that found in the arms of Mar. As seen above, both were incorporated in the arms of the local civic authority

Design C;

depicts a white castle, both to represent Aberdeenshire as Scotland’s ‘Castle Country’ and  Balmoral Castle specifically, whose royal association is referenced by the inclusion of a crown this charge, as seen also being present on the local civic arms. The castle appears against an unusual bi-coloured background of a golden-orange colour at the hoist or left and a purple fly end. The golden hue signifies both barley, reflecting the county’s arable land and the whisky which it yields, whilst the purple symbolises the heather on the mountains. The crown itself is also bicoloured, countercharged, with a purple left half and a golden right.

Design D

has a gold sheaf of barley,as used in the old arms of Buchan and council arms and is also a nod to the local whisky industry. The crown theme present in the council arms is also repeated here, over the barley, to recall the area’s royal connections but in an appearance suggestive of a wall which recalls the granite typical of the locality and the castles found across it. Five black diamonds displayed on the crown stand for the traditional areas of the historic county, Buchan, Formartine, Gairoch, Marr and Strathbogie, the black colour denoting the important local oil industry. The shaf and crown sit on a green field which represents the rich agricultural and natural wealth of Aberdeenshire,

Design E

bears a blue inverted Y shape representing the rivers Dee and Don flowing through the county before they both join the North Sea. A golden edge to the rivers represents the inland crops and the coastal beaches. The red colour represents both Aberdeen, whose council’s own arms mainly red

and the Cairngorms,

whose Gaelic name, ‘Am Monadh Ruadh’, means ‘to the Red Hills’. At the base of the flag, a red triangle represents one of these mountains.

Vote for your preferred design here (scroll down the page).



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