The Fenland flag was created by regional resident and vexillographer, James Bowman
is centred in Cambridgeshire
Whilst to date, the flag has not been included by the Flag Institute on its registry, the de facto circumstances regarding its commercial availability, usage and recognition, evident in the photographs included in the following account and indeed its support by a regional official and a politician, justify its inclusion in this listing of British regional flags.
features a tiger to reflect a local tradition. The term “Fen Tigers” was first used of the local inhabitants by Dutch engineers who arrived to assist with the drainage of the Fens, resulting in considerable land reclamation. The locals
apparently exhibited some hostility to the incomers and were given the term “tigers” as a result. The concept was sufficiently recognised in the twentieth century for tigers to be included as supporters in the arms
A tiger is used as the logo or badge of numerous sports teams across the region. It is seen here
on the badge of the president of the March and District Bowling Association and has been extensively used by Mildenhall Fen Tigers speedway team
in various realisations
Naturally, Ely Tigers rugby team, seen here
in the club’s tiger themed kit of orange and black stripes, also has a tiger for its badge
Other local teams with a tiger badge are;
the “Fen Tigers”, junior darts team from Cambridgeshire
the Korfball team from Cambridge
and the “Fen Tigers” Goalball team
who also sport an orange and black team kit
and use black and orange “tiger” stripes
as a decorative feature in their online presence.
Two tigers are supporters in the badge of Wisbech Rugby Union Football Club
and the Tiger theme is also present in the name and insignia of two football teams
located in Chatteris, right in the heart of the Fenland region and a tiger is the company logo
of the Fen Tigers Furniture firm, from the locality.
James’s design, seen here
flying in a boatyard in Ely, maintains the theme. Blue stands for the man made and natural waterways of the region, and yellow for agricultural prosperity.
It is seen below
adorning a vessel on the River Thames and following,
at various spots across the region
is promoted here.
In November 2018 James received a letter of support from John Ablewhite, the regional police commissioner
and subsequently, another from Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire,
who also wrote to the Flag Institute expressing her support for the proposal.
And in June 2020, solidifying the flag’s status as the regional emblem, Fenland on Film, formed to collate vintage film shot in the Fens, designed a company logo based upon it
This move was swiftly followed by a local food producer who named a new product for the flag
which of course also appeared on the packaging.
It was also added to the labels of Waterland Organics apple juice bottles
The flag received the support of a local council at an April 29th, 2021 meeting of EEast Cambridgeshire District Council, which agreed a motion to recognise the Fenland flag and “support the ambition” of its registration, proposed by council leader Anna Bailey and seconded by councillor Julia Huffer. Anna Bailey stated that the flag would be occasionally flown from the council’s flagpole, on “High Days” and “Holidays”, to promote its wider use. And added that endorsement of the Fenland flag would create a strong sense of identity for local people.
The flag has also been produced in pennant or burgee form
for a local boating organisation, as seen here
and appears on various items
including this fine cycling jersey
sported by one of the flag’s most ardent supporters, Chaz Chazzington.
ITV Anglia’s report on the flag can be viewed at our video page