A Flag For Skye

Following the adoption of flags for Barra and South Uist, a competition was announced to select one for Skye

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The office of the Lord Lyon, which is the body responsible for recording and protecting all heraldry, flags and national symbols in Scotland, was petitioned to register the idea following initial meetings involving the Free Press, Highland Council ward members and tourism promoters Skye Connect. A steering group to take forward the process involved representatives from local schools, volunteer, community and heritage groups.

As the competiton was being established Skye councillor John Finlayson said: “I have had lots of positive feedback about the plans for a flag for Skye and I am delighted we have made such good progress with the idea. I am excited to see what designs will come forward, and having a competition that encourages people of all ages to submit their designs is absolutely the right thing to do.” a flag for Skye and I am delighted we have made such good progress with the idea. I am excited to see what designs will come forward, and having a competition that encourages people of all ages to submit their designs is absolutely the right thing to do.” Councillor John Finlayson said: “I have had lots of positive feedback about the plans for a flag for Skye and I am delighted we have made such good progress with the idea. I am excited to see what designs will come forward, and having a competition that encourages people of all ages to submit their designs is absolutely the right thing to do.”

Philip Tibbetts, honorary vexillologist with the Court of the Lord Lyon, stated “It is fantastic to see Skye become the latest community start the journey of developing its own flag to fly proudly alongside the Saltire. Given Skye’s iconic nature, the potential for both the design and subsequent usage of a flag for the island is incredible. “Following the formal approach to the Lyon Court work can now begin to plan the timings and details.”

On the 31st January 2020 the Lord Lyon

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and six judges met in Portree

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to short-list the six competition finalists

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from the 369 entries which came mainly from Skye but also from India, Australia, Denmark, Portugal, USA and France. Over 200 Skye school pupils submitted designs, in what proved to be the most popular Scottish community flag design competition ever held. The finalists were revealed in the second week of February with voting set to take place until the 29th of February,. Votes can be cast either  by clicking this link, one vote per person. The winning flag will be revealed at a ceremony planned for the end of March.

FLAG A
Stanley Bird from Edinburgh came up with this design. It takes inspiration from the sea, while the wing motif is stylised as a representation of the island, and recognises the reputed origins of the Skye name as the winged isle. 

FLAG B
This design merges two entries sent in by Broadford primary pupils Alex McKinstray and Roslyn MacPherson. The blue is chosen to represent the sea with the white representing peace – and the peaceful nature of the island. A winged motif is also included.

FLAG C
Rory Flyn from Sleat’s entry is a distinctive take on a traditional Nordic cross. The blue and white pattern is likened to the warp and weft of weaving and represents the spirit of clans and community. The colours take their inspiration from Skye Camanachd.

FLAG D
Kilmuir youngster Calum Alasdair Munro’s flag symbolises the island’s shared Norse and Celtic heritage. The birlinn has five oars which represent the five wings of Skye pulling together. Calum Alasdair’s original design was green and gold, but the flag short-listing panel made the decision to change the colours and use blue to reflect what was by some distance the most popular colour chosen by entrants.

FLAG E
Kyle Arnot from Glasgow’s design is again influenced by landscape – the dark mountains of the Cuillin, the white mist of the ‘misty isle’ and a Skye blue sky.

FLAG F
Elgol Primary School pupils Isabel Adams and Bethany Macintosh came up with this simple, but striking design which represents an iconic Skye landscape – the Black Cuillin and Red Hills on a blue and white background.March.

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