Friday, 28 November 2014

Federal UK - Devolution to English Regions.

I think its a good time to post this, giving that yesterday the Prime Minister announced that his proposals for English devolution (or English votes on English laws as he put it) will be published by Christmas. This is an interesting topic with most English people from what I can see, agreeing with the concept. However there are certainly implications:
The main ideas being put out there are:

  • No real devolution, but rather excluding non English (and by extension Greater London) MPs from voting on English matters. 
  • A separate English Parliament running internal English affairs, like the devolved government of the other UK countries.
  • Greater powers to the councils of county and city regions
  • Federalising England, with each region having its own Assembly. 
Of course there are advantages and disadvantages to all these but its not for me to debate, (although I personally  think one of the latter two might work better both for the UK as a whole and for addressing things like the English North-South divide.) this is a flag blog. I did a post about this a couple of months ago with some ideas. On the flags there I focused more on preserving a sense of Englishness in the flags rather than any sort of regional identity.  As a result I wasn't too happy with them. However in this post I tried to redress that:

Unlike last time I divided England into seven provinces. These are

  • Wessex & Cornwall
  • Cantia
  • Anglia
  • Mercia
  • Northumbria
  • Rheged
  • Londinium
Most reviving the names of the Ancient Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. I tried to base the flags on Heraldic standards and give them a kind of medieval feel. As such the standard design has St George's Cross in the hoist. The idea of this is that it reflects the individuality of the region but at the same time maintains the collective English identity.

Wessex & Cornwall

I think one county is too small for a whole region, however the Cornish have their own unique culture and identity, Cornish is now officially an ethnic group and some see themselves as a separate group from the English. This is why the regions official name is Wessex & Cornwall, rather than just Wessex, preserving Cornwall as a unique entity. There are two designs the first one:
Reflecting the Anglo-Saxon name, it has a gold wyvern, Reflecting the dragon standard said to have been born in battle by the West Saxons, against Britons, Mercians, Vikings etc and even Anglo Saxons at the battle of Hastings in 1066. These standards could be the forerunners of English flags, and is reflected by the Wyvern. It has the Cornish cross in the hoist rather than St George's reflecting Cornwall's unique identity. Or alternatively A design suggested by Paul James, where the coins of the Duchy of Cornwall's coat of arms are used:


The name taking from the Ancient Kingdom of the Kentish. Comprising primarily of Kent and Sussex:
as such the flag is quartered with the arms of kent and the flag of the "historic" county of Sussex, versions of which have been used by both East & West Sussex.


Anglia consists of the regions of East Anglia, Essex and Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire. The Anglia flag is this:
Its quartered with the arms of Essex and the three saxon crowns from the East Anglia flag. The waves in the centre feature on both the flags of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire


The central province of England, many symbols are associated with Mercia. My first flag is this:

The Cross of St Alban rather than St George is in the hoist. This is the attributed arms of the Kingdom of Mercia. The double headed eagle has been used by various Army units as a heraldic device for Mercia, Again these are from attributed arms of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. A double headed eagle and saxon crown is the current badge of the Mercian Regiment. The black field could represent The Black Country?Alternatively this flag could be adopted:  
It keeps the Cross of St George in the hoist, and the symbols from the other flag. It also has a white wyvern. This represents a standard the Ancient Mercians bore in battle with the Welsh although it is disputed. However the crest of the old Midland Railway was also a wyvern.


One of the most powerful Saxon Kingdoms of Ancient Britain Northumbria covers the Northeast. My Northumbrian flag is:
The alternating red and yellow stripes come from the modern flag of the County of Northumberland. However they predate the county and are attributed to the King of Northumbria. It also has the rose and soleil design in the centre. The white rose being the badge of the old royal house of york, and today associated with Yorkshire and North West England. The Soleil is a representation on the Sun and was used by Richard III, 


Using the name of an ancient Northern Kingdom, Rheged is a province in the North West of England. The flag of Rheged is:
It features the red rose of Lancashire, The waves of Merseyside, Corn bails of Cheshire, chevrons of Cumbria, and towers of Greater Manchester


The Province of Londinium covers Greater London and the surrounding area. Londinium was the name of the Roman settlement sited where the City of London is. I decided to revive  this name as it sounds cooler than Greater London Region/Area, and it would probably include some areas outside London itself. The Province flag is this:
Its a cross between a previous Greater London flag design of mine and the arms of the former Greater London Council. The main elements are the Saxon Crown and Portcullis. The Portcullis is a traditional symbol of English nobility, and historically associated with Westminster and parliament. It is also a symbol of the wider London area and a perfect symbol for the capital province.
These are my suggestion, feel free to comment and tell me yours.


  1. Hi Sam
    What do you think about including the White Dragon and Sword of the City of London in the flag of Greater London?

    1. The Sword of St Paul is perhaps more specific to the City rather than greater London, although that being said you could probably say the same thing about the Portcullis and the City of Westminster. I would say though that the Portcullis is probably more familiar due to its use in government and parliamentary insignia and coins, and the coat of arms of the Met Police. However I am sure the sword could easily be included in a greater London flag. I am assuming the white dragon you refer to are the supporters in the coat of arms of the City of London? I don't think it would be possible to include them in a flag without it being seen as a parody of the Welsh flag, although as I've said before dragons are awesome.

  2. Why use the name Rheged for an English region?

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