A Flag For Tiree


Question Mark Flag

On February 27th 2018, following the successful registration of flags for the Scottish islands of Barra and South Uist, a competition to establish one for the island of Tiree,


Argyllshire, was announced. The joint initiative of Tiree Community Council

Tiree Community Council

The Flag Institute


and The Court Of The Lord Lyon


the competition is a consequence of a 2017 vote where the people of Tiree overwhelmingly backed a move by the Community Council to establish a flag for the island.

In announcing the competition, Doctor John Holliday,


of Tiree Community Council, made reference to “a lovely Tiree tradition to fly flags in a township when someone is getting married” , a wonderful incentive to create a specific Tiree flag to be used in this admirable practice! Dr Holiday further observed that “… many communities are deciding that flags are a good way to bring people together, to raise pride in where they live, and to show the world what they stand for.”

The submission stage ran from April 2nd to May 1st and elicited 261 entries from as far afield as Switzerland and Canada. On the 4th of June, local residents, Dr John Holliday, (far left below) Ian Gillies, Rosemary Omand, Lachie Brown, Iain MacKinnon, Donna MacLean and Annine MacLean were joined by Dr Joseph Morrow, (far right below) the Lord Lyon (chief heraldic authority in Scotland) and the Flag Institute’s Philip Tibbetts (second from left),


at the An Talla Community Hall, on the island, to select these four finalists

for inclusion in a public vote, to determine the competition winner and new Tiree flag. Many entries used a Nordic cross,



while stripes of one form or another, representing the colours of the sand, sea and machair flowers



were another popular choice. Other designers used waves, the sun and representations of the wind


to convey the essence of Tiree. The island is also famous for the basking sharks which patrol its waters.

The four finalists were displayed during Tiree Agricultural Show Day on Friday July 20th 2018,


where it was possible to vote in person. Voting slips were included in the island’s newspaper, An Tirisdeach, in the issue following the Show and it was possible to vote by post or online via a link at the http://tireeflag.com/ site, which was open for two weeks after 20 July. The winner will be announced on Monday 13 August 2018.

Following the public vote, the winning design will be submitted to The Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, for formal registration by the Lord Lyon, as dictated by Scottish law. Plans will then be announced for a formal unveiling, due on September 1st. Full details are available here.



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