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Yorkshire (United Kingdom)

Last modified: 2002-12-28 by rob raeside
Keywords: yorkshire | york | rose |
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[Flag of Yorkshire] by Ken Bagnall, 16 January 2001

See also:

The Yorkshire flag

Although I don't think it has any official status, it is seen in a number of places in the region, particularly flying over businesses in the tourist industry (often alongside the British, English and European flags).
Ken Bagnall, 16 January 2001

The flag is evidently manufactured, with a slightly different design than shown on the gif from Ken Bagnall. One web site shows a photo of the flags, in two different shades of blue. You can see a photo on
Helge Jacobsen, 22 January 2001

The Rose

The White Rose has been a symbol of Yorkshire since the War of the Roses between Lancaster and York in the 1400's. The Yorkists of the time were represented by the white rose.
Patrick Costa, 27 July 2001

On August 1st, 1759, soldiers from Yorkshire regiments who had fought in the battle of Minden, in Germany, picked white roses from bushes near to the battlefields as a tribute to their fallen comrades. Since that time the white rose has become the symbol of Yorkshire and is proudly worn by Yorkshiremen and women on Yorkshire Day (August 1).
David Stretton, 9 July 2001

I have been trying to verify the why, when, and how the White Rose was adopted as a county badge for the county of Yorkshire. I note with interest your proposition that it dates from the battle of Minden 1759, can this be verified in any way please. I had started to wonder if it was actually simply a fable as the heraldic links with the Wars of the Roses never was a real contender for all the reasons I am sure you are well aware of.
Richard Hayton, 20 February 2002

In UK heraldry, if I am not mistaken, a "house" (i.e., a family and its retainers and servants and distant relatives and whatnot) has not only various coats of arms but a "badge". For a royal house (or would-be-royal house) the badge can extend to the entire country, such as the Scottish thistle or Irish shamrock, Welsh leek. Somehow the House of York (a subdivision of the British - then English-only - royal house) acquired a white rose as its badge (it does not, I don't think, appear on any coat of arms) and the House of Lancaster had a red rose. Hence their internecine wars were called the "Wars of the Roses". When the dust settled at the end of the wars the badges were merged into the "Tudor rose" which serves as the badge of England 

The two houses, Lancaster and York, no longer exist (do they?). Now the question here, as I understand it, is how the family badge of the house of York became the county badge of Yorkshire. To me the reason is obvious; Yorkshire simply adopted it from the family badge. As to the date and manner of the adoption, indeed whether it was an official act with an actual date or a gradual act over time, is an interesting question.
Al Kirsch, 20 February 2002

The Houses of York and Lancaster still exist in that they are subsumed into the House of Windsor. HM The Queen is Duke of Lancaster and HRH Prince Andrew is Duke of York. The badge of York Herald is a white rose "en soleil" (ie with a sunburst behind it).
Graham Bartram, 20 February 2002 

There is also a Lancaster Herald whose badge is a red rose royally crowned - see
Joe McMillan, 20 February 2002  

City of York

[Flag of City of York] by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 7 February 2002

A picture from York shows a shield in a coat of arms high over a gate. So, I theorized that the flag should be a banner of arms and constructed this one out of the England flag. Has anyone see this flag? Is its ratio 2:1? Should the lions be nearer to
each other? 
Blas Delgado Ortiz
, 7 February 2002

This shield is abundantly seen around the City of York - it was visible on the city wall, and on the bridge over the River Ouse.  During the International Vexillogical Congress in York [in 2001] the flag as Blas has drawn it was flying high from the Guild Hall, although I am not sure if it was 2:1 or not.
Rob Raeside, 8 February 2002

An Alternative Yorkshire Flag

[Flag of Yorkshire] by Michael Paraskos, 1 October 2002

This new flag for the English region of Yorkshire was designed by Michael Faul, Director of the Flag Institute.  It shows the cross of St. George, the historic symbol of England, with the vertical band off-centre to the left, in the format adopted by most Scandinavian countries. This reflects the fact that Yorkshire is part of England, but also that it has close ties with Scandinavia, having been settled and ruled by Norwegians and Danes in the eighth and ninth centuries. The white rose is shown on a blazing sun, called "rose-en-soleil" in heraldry, which is the Royal badge of the Royal house of York, the last member of which to rule England was Richard III (1483-1485). The new flag has been adopted by the Campaign for Yorkshire which is campaigning for a Yorkshire parliament.

Michael Paraskos, 20 September 2002

You may be interested to know that the Yorkshire Dialect Society has adopted this flag and uses it as the masthead on its website. The Campaign for Yorkshire has also expressed interest in "officially" adopting it as the flag for the whole of historic Yorkshire (but has not yet actually done so). The centre of the rose is yellow, for the pollen stamens.

Michael Faul, 11 October 2002