Flying start to Sutherland Flag vote

Voting on the finalists of the Sutherland flag competition has got off to a strong start with several hundreds of votes registered already. In the space of 24 hours the number of votes had already started to approach the totals of some other competitions, an even more impressive feat considering voting is only open to those living in the county. This positive start clearly shows the widespread engagement of the community with the competition generally and vote specifically.


The competition’s four designs features a wide range of symbols that between them represent Sutherland’s ancient heraldry, famous military heritage, Viking origins of its name, traditional and re-introduced wildlife, gold and purple scenery, Flow Country, dark skies and coastal topography. All these designs met heraldic criteria and the guidelines on good flag design that were provided to all entrants when the competition launched. These guidelines ensure a flags visibility and its subsequent ability to function effectively.


These were chosen by selecting the best designs from groups of entrants with similar primary themes – eagle, stars, wildcat and Nordic Cross. The whole Sutherland competition now mirrors the best practice process used elsewhere in Scotland. The finalists were judged anonymously and will be voted on anonymously too, with only finalist to be comprised of a merger of more than one submission being the eagle flag. With respect to the anonymity of the designers it can be acknowledged that three of the finalists can be credited to local designers, and two to entries from schoolchildren.


Voting can be done online at or by sending a letter or postcard with your choice, name and postcode to Sutherland Flag, c/o Highland Council, Drummuie, Golspie, Sutherland KW10 6TA Voting will be open until Monday 26th November.


Philip Tibbetts, honorary vexillologist to the Court of the Lord Lyon, said: “It looks like the vote has got off to the fastest start of any competition and is shaping up to be a close race between all the finalists. I am glad that logistical issues have been overcome for holding a vote owing to the re-evaluation and careful planning of the Flag Committee. I look forward to the final decision and whichever design wins will provide the county with a visually strong and symbolically rich flag, in the best traditions of Scottish community flags, that can fly proudly alongside the saltire itself.”

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4 Responses to Flying start to Sutherland Flag vote

  1. Cathy Spearing 7 November 2018 at 6:49 pm #

    They are all awful in my opinion and in the opinion of many others. So nobody liked the first one chosen so we get 3 equally bad flags to choose from? That seems so very unfair. People do not have the chance to vote for “None of the above” – in this case it should very definitely been an option.

    • Jeannie Sutherland 22 November 2018 at 4:21 pm #

      Agree with you 100%. Bad taste taints the second offering too! All submissions should have been put to the vote, with perhaps another vote on a shortlist from there. Telling the people of Sutherland they can pick one from a tiny fraction of designs submitted is hardly democratic or fair! Neither is being excluded from voting because I moved south five years ago ( but will return home), despite living there for 48 years!!

  2. Aileen Hall 27 November 2018 at 12:00 am #

    I have just voted, reluctantly.
    What a very limited choice!
    There was no opportunity to say that I would have preferred a choice of a more subtle design using the colours to be seen in the landscape of Sutherland.

  3. Leslie Sharp 2 December 2018 at 1:36 am #

    The options have been met with wide spread disapproval, the issue has become too controversial to be continued. End it before the permit becomes a focal point of county focused hatred. (which it will do).