Residents in Sutherland are to have the deciding vote over the design of Sutherland’s new flag following public backlash for the committee’s original choice.
The flag registered by the court of the Lord Lyon – showing a swooping eagle on a yellow and red background with three stars or ‘mullets’ – was deemed ugly by members of the Sutherland community with some saying it looked more like a budgie.
Following a meeting last week, the Lord Lieutenant has now ordered the Sutherland Flag Committee to publish the shortlist of entries for the Flag Competition after deciding to hand the casting vote back over to the public.
Philip Tibbetts, Community Vexillologist for the Flag Institute and spokesman for the Sutherland Flag Committee, said the aim of having the public vote is to bring back a sense of unity within the local community.
He said: “The Sutherland Flag Committee, made up of representatives from the Lord Lieutenancy, Highland Council and local schools, decided at the end of March to have a period of reflection in order to calmly assess the feedback of the community.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
“This enabled them at their follow-up meeting, last Friday, to consider all options on the table. As a result it was decided that this was the best way forward for the county was to hold a vote – with the existing flag on offer as one of the options; which I am very happy to help support.
“The committee had been made aware of support for the originally chosen flag so it was considered fair to ensure this was an option in the vote, along with the other finalists from the judging”
The public vote is expected to be held before the end of the year incorporating between four and six design ideas. The original chosen design will be included within the options; with each one meeting the criteria for good flag design and met Lyon Court requirements.
The vote will be organised with support from the Flag Institute and endorsed by the Court of the Lord Lyon.