Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Queen Elizabeth Land

After the Foreign and Commonwealth Office announcing it was going to name a large area (437,000 sq km) of British Antarctic Territory after HM the Queen, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee I thought it would be a good opportunity to think of a flag and arms for this new territory (or region if it is not going to be counted as a different territory from Antarctic territory.)
First lets look at the flag of BAT:
It is unusual as it is a white ensign, the only other use of a (UK) white ensign outside Queen's Ships (by which I mean Royal Navy, Royal Yacht Squadron and ships escorting the monarch) is BAT and  the Commissioner's flag of the Northern Lighthouse Board.
Like most UK overseas territories flags its and ensign defaced with the territories coat of arms.
This flag is the official flag of the territory however I am unsure if it is actually used.
The UK presence in Antarctic composes of the Royal Navy's ice patrol ship HMS Protector. (which can be deployed far and wide in the south) which uses the St Georges ensign more commonly called the white ensign, and three research stations of the British Antarctic Survey. I have seen pictures of a BAS station but it was only flying a Union Flag rather than the BAT flag.
However BAS ships do use a blue ensign defaced with the BAT shield:
  File:Government Ensign of the British Antarctic Territory.svg

I based the arms of Queen Elizabeth Land (or Liz Land as I like to call it) on the BAT arms:
The Helmet, supporters and base are the same. What has changed is the crest is now a crown, the motto is Latin for 'Duty and Devotion,' which is not only a good motto but a tribute to the Queen. 
The shield has also changed a little. the Torch has been replaced with the Queen's coat of arms defaced with the crowned 'E' as a permanent tribute. The Diamond is self explanatory. 

The Flag is a separate, more difficult issue. Do I  break from the tradition of using ensigns or more unique flag? 
My first design is really a copy of the BAT flag.
The Government ensign is the same but blue.
My next design breaks from the ensign tradition:
It keeps the diamond and waves design, and crowned 'E' logo. I also kept the Union Jack as Antartica is so fast and as there is nothing there but snow, and so many countries have claims and territory there, it would still be useful to let people know what boarder they have crossed. (although I don't think too many people will be out for a walk.) 
Alternatively you could replace the Union Jack with the defaced Royal Arms from the Coat of Arms:
The chances are this place will continue to use the BAT flag rather than adopt one but a bit of fun anyway.
I also recommend looking at my friend Leonardo Piccioni's idea as I think it is much better than mine the link is here.

All Comments Welcome

British Antarctic Territory and Survey flags are from Wikipeadia, all other picture are by Samuel McKittrick


  1. My favorite is the first one. I don't know why, but I think these white ensigns are very charming. But what's your favorite of them?

    P.S. I made my own versions.

  2. The white ensigns are certainly more pleasant than the red or blue, but I question the practicality of using a white flag in a place with a lot of snow! lol
    I like all of them but the first and last most, as the middle one reminds me a little of British Columbia in Canada.
    I like your designs the most and I am going to put a link to your blog on here.