As can be seen in the individual articles on county flags, sports clubs frequently include locally meaningful devices which have been utilised in county flags on their badges or logos. Football clubs in particular follow this practice, especially smaller amateur clubs that have strong community ties in the county where they are located, making a focus on such usage interesting. The restoration in 2015, by Manchester City, of the red rose of Lancashire to its club badge.
is particularly noteworthy. The new ‘old’ design asserts the club’s heritage and geography as a Lancashire club. The move followed a similar decision to feature the Lancashire rose as part of the club’s badge taken by fellow Lancashire club Bolton Wanderers FC in 2013
It is also present on the badge of professional outfit, Gillingham
Southampton Football Club includes a rose, as found on the county flag, on the club badge. The civic arms borne by the city council feature three roses, two white ones on a red field, over one red one on a white field. The club appears to have reversed the pattern of the lower half of the civic shield. The county’s use of a variety of differently coloured roses through the years, is reflected in this arrangement. The variety of roses used in the county is also evident in the design of the badges of a number of lower league clubs. Hampshire Charity, formed since the adoption of the county flag, appropriately uses a badge
based on it, which suits the club bearing the county name. The badge of Fareham Town FC
is essentially the town’s civic arms and features two red roses, whilst Horndean Football Club’s badge
displays a markedly white one. In contrast Hayling United bears three, red, roses on its badge
whilst single red roses are found on the badges of Totton and Eling FC,
Whitchurch United Football Club,
and Winchester Castle FC.
Blackburn Rovers has featured a finely illustrated image of a deep red Lancashire rose for several decades
Barrow, located in the Furness portion of Lancashire, also proudly sports the red rose on its club badge
The county’s famous seaxes appear on the badges of many of its football clubs.
Enfield FC and its successor Enfield 1893, have a vertically divided badge with the crown and seaxes on the observer’s right, while Wealdstone’s badge includes them in the bottom left canton of a quartered shieldSeveral clubs bear the name Hayes and each includes the Middle Saxon seaxes on its badge; from left to right below, AFC Hayes’s very traditional realisation again places the emblem on a quartered shield, in the top left canton; Hayes FC’s badge includes the county emblem in a modern depiction, skewed to accommodate the left portion of a diagonally divided badge; and the crown and seaxes are included on Hayes and Yeading FC’s badge, which is more akin to a modern company logo.
The county emblem is also present in the upper section, or chief, of both Hillingdon Borough FC’s badge and that of Hampton and Richmond Borough FC
and is on the badge of Yeading Football & Athletic Club Limited in a distinct and unusual realisation!The seaxes, in a depiction more reminiscent of the pre 1910 council adaptation, without the Saxon crown,
appear on the badge of Southall FC.
This same “early” depiction of the seaxes is found in the badge of Ashford Town FC
which contrasts with the post 1910 arrangement featured on the badge of the town’s hockey team!
Naturally, the Middlesex emblem, again in its original form, is the badge of Middlesex Wanderers, an amateur specialist touring team
Professional outfit, Brentford FC, incorporated the crown and seaxes in its badge until November 2016 when this was sadly replaced with a badge that makes no reference to the county
The Stafford Knot which is the essential feature on the county flag, is present on the badges of non-league Hednesford Town, Stafford Town, Lichfield City, Tamworth and Stafford Rangers
Professional teams Port Vale and Stoke City also sport the Stafford Knot on their club badges.
The three leopard faces that appear on the county flag, which originated in the civic arms of Shrewsbury, are present on the club badge of Shrewsbury Town FC.
The council of the Surrey town of Wimbledon was awarded arms, in 1906, which included a yellow and blue chequered border in reference to the De Warenne earls of Surrey. The original local football team, Wimbledon FC, (since revamped as AFC Wimbledon) adopted a modified version of the civic arms for its own badge
which made notable use of a blue and yellow chequered border in reference to the de Warenne checks, which have since been registered as the county flag of Surrey. This badge has since been discontinued.
The Ringmer village team used the county emblem for its club badge and it also appears on the badge of Catsfield FC.
In the 2017 season Brighton and hove Albion incorporated the Sussex flag into its shirt!
Yorkshire’s white rose is prominently featured on the badges of Leeds United
and Sheffield United.
The badge of BarnoldswickTown FC
features both a red and a white rose, whilst Mossley AFC has a Cheshire garb or wheatsheaf, on its badge,between a red rose and a white one. These unusual combinations are seemingly symbolic of the clubs’ respective locations, the former in the West Riding of Yorkshire but close to Lancashire, the latter located within a thin strip of Cheshire territory adjacent to both Yorkshire and Lancashire.
The Luton based AFC MacMillan uniquely combines elements from the flags of Hertfordshire, a leaping hart (stag), Bedfordshire, scallops and the Buckinghamshire flag in its entirety.
Football Supporters’ “Naval Ensigns”
In recent years the burgeoning popularity of county flags in England, has led to an interesting trend whereby they have been incorporated into Saint George’s cross flags, in the pattern of the naval ensign
by football supporters, usually with additional elements such as club badges and slogans. Some examples follow
This example, wielded by supporters of Stockport County, is somewhat different from the pattern generally deployed by supporters, which, as described, feature a county flag in the first canton, uppermost next to the flagpole. Here, the lower canton, bears the design and oddly, rather then the full flag of Cheshire, simply depicts the charges found on it, that is, the three golden wheatsheaves or garbs and gold sword.
It is gratifying to see fans of Sunderland FC acknowledge their status as residents of County Durham, when many people in the city have forgotten their true county status. The flag of County Durham unequivocally sits in the first canton of this supporter flag. It’s also found on the below banner borne by supporters of Bishop Auckland and Shildon AFC clubs.
Carlise United fans include their county’s flag in circular form on the fourth canton of their flag
and the same arrangement is used by Workington Town rugby league fans!
Some fine examples of the county flag of Derbyshire being used by separate clubs from the county, the first two from Chesterfield suporters, with the county flag depicted in the unorthodox fourth canton or quarter and one (Clay Cross) in the usual, first canton and another from supporters of Derby County, with a more conventional location of the county flag, in the first canton.
It’s rare to see West Ham recognised as an Essex club but it is on this supporter’s flag,
where the Essex arms occupy the first quarter. On this version however,
The Hampshire flag, registered in 2019, occupies the first canton of this Southampton supporter’s flag.
The noble steed of Kent on its traditional red field occupies the first canton of this England flag.
A variation on a theme here with supporters of Leigh Centurions rugby league club, including the flag of Lancashire in the fourth quarter of their ‘ensign’.
The county flag appears in the canton of this example from supporters of Scunthorpe
and this flag from supporters of Lincoln City
Two great examples of the Middlesex county flag recognised by Brentford supporters and a third where the design appears in shield form, in the fourth quarter. The club (and its supporters) is alone, amongst several professional teams in the county, in recognising its true county identity in this manner and which, as noted above, previously included the emblem on its own badge, for many years. Both examples have the county flag occupying spaces other than the expected first quarter.
Supporters from Alnwick in Northumberland with that county’s flag
Fans of Nottingham Forest proudly depict their county’s flag in the first canton, as do fans of Notts County!
England fans from Shropshire display their county’s flag in the first canton.
Fans of an amateur team from Suffolk have incorporated the county flag here in the fourth canton.
Supporters of Farnham Town have incorporated the Surrey county flag in their banner.
Plenty of examples of the practice from supporters of Brighton and Hove Albion. The club consciously portrays itself as a Sussex club and promotes its county identity persistently. The county flag can be found in abundance at matches. It is also used here
by supporters of Crawley Town, here
by supporters of Litttlehampton.
Fans of Swindon Town include the Wiltshire county flag in the traditional first canton
And a slight twist on the theme here with England rugby fans from Worcestershire
taking up the same idea!
Two fine examples examples from Leeds United supporters, with dark toned Yorkshire flags in the first quarters, as it initially appeared.
For Welsh clubs of course the arrangement has to be different, here fans of Barry Town include the Glamorgan county flag in their banner
Though wholly unofficial, these designs do certainly make very fine flags!