UK Flag Registry
The Flag Institute maintains and manages the national registry of United Kingdom flags. This is to ensure there is a definitive record of those which exist both nationally and regionally. There is of course no UK Flag Act, under the authority of which such flags might have been endorsed, and it therefore falls to the Flag Institute to maintain the formal record.
National flags for the constituent countries of the UK are well established, even if not declared in law to be national flags, whilst the range of county and regional flags continues to expand as can be seen by the dates of authorisation given for the more recent ones listed. There is no other formal national listing of these flags.
As new county or regional flags are created they will be added to the list once they have satisfied the strict criteria laid down. If a flag in common use is not listed here please contact the Chief Vexillologist. To find out more about the criteria for registration please see the section on Registry criteria.
The Flag Registry has recently been moved to a new location. Please click here to access it.
Criteria for inclusion in the Flag Registry
The Flag Institute had drawn up a list of criteria for flags to be included in the new Flag Registry:
- The design must be unique within the UK, ie. no other UK area or organisation is using the design
- The design must be in the public domain, ie. not subject to copyright
- In the case of county flags, the flag must normally apply to a historical county rather than a modern administrative area
- The flag must be one of the following: registered with the College of Arms; registered with the Office of the Lord Lyon; the traditional flag; selected by a public vote; or selected by an appropriate county or city organisation
- It is possible for an existing flag of a county, city or town council to be included in the Registry, but only where the council concerned has granted permission for its residents to use the flag and recorded this in its minutes
- Flags bearing a full achievement of a coat of arms would not ordinarily be recorded in the Registry, as in these cases, we would follow heraldic protocol and advise the use of a rectangular version of the shield on the arms
- Ordinarily, flags should follow the Flag Institute's Civic Flag Design Guidelines
- Inclusion in the Flag Registry is completely free of charge
Note: All Scottish flags must, by law, be authorized by Lord Lyon and recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland.
To be included in the Flag Registry, flag designs must be free from copyright. As such all flag designs and images of regional/county/town flags on this and associated Flag Institute websites and pages are available for public use. We only request that the Flag Institute is mentioned where appropriate or relevant.
Civic Flag Design Guidelines, from the Flag Institute