The gold lion rampant on a black field, has always been a symbol I associated with my family. The thistles and flax flowers representing my Ulster-Scots heritage, the crest representing my life long passion of ferroequinology, by way of the locomotive wheel, the lion passant continuing the lion theme.
All this is symbolised in the redesigned flag. the floral symbols and lion rampant. However the red and white saltires on a blue field, is based on the Ulster Nation flag, which attempts to combine the St Patrick's saltire with the St Andrew's Saltire. This is again another heritage reference,and the crimson shade of red reflects my home city Londonderry. However, blue is also my favourite colour, and the split red saltire is also a reference to railroad tracks. The gold circle also makes the saltire look like a Celtic cross thats been turned 45 degrees, a reference to the Northern Ireland football badge, which is also based on a Celtic Cross design.
Other variations of the design include a black field, with a crimson rather than scarlet saltire, crimson being the colour of my home town. Or using the crest rather than the lion rampant, however I still like the origional.
I am not quite sure which flag to use, I enjoy the symbolism of the new saltire design, but on the other hand I love the simplicity of the heraldic banner. One option is to use both flags, using the banner as a personal flag, and the saltire as an alternative flag for when it would be inappropriate to use a banner. For example it could be used over property when I am not present? Or is having two flags a little greedy?
I would love to hear your opinions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.